Project Gutenberg's Lest We Forget, by John Gilbert Thompson and Inez Bigwood This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Lest We Forget World War Stories Author: John Gilbert Thompson Inez Bigwood Release Date: July 5, 2011 [EBook #36634] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LEST WE FORGET *** Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Jeannie Howse and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved.
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The Kaiser: "You See You Have Lost Everything."
The King of the Belgians: "Not My Soul."
(Reproduced by permission of the proprietors of Punch.)
Books and articles in astounding numbers have been published in the past four years to explain the World War and to inform the public as to its progress. Societies and agencies of the government have urged that every available means be employed to inform the American people of the reasons for the war and the issues at stake; and much has been done for adults.
Little or no thought seems to have been given to youthful readers who are beginning to think for themselves, and whose first thinking should be properly guided, for they are at an age when tales of heroism and daring make a strong appeal. In many homes the children are the only readers, and in nearly all, their thinking and reading exercise a powerful influence.
This volume of stories of the World War is prepared to meet this important need, and to set before the pupils the war's unparalleled deeds of heroism, with the aims and ideals which have inspired them, and which have led American youth to look upon the sacrifice of life as none too high a price to pay for the liberation of mankind.
[vi]It may be used as a reading book or as an historical reader for the upper grammar grades. While great care has been employed to secure accuracy of fact and to select material of permanent value, the stories are written in a manner that will appeal to children.
The thanks of the authors and publishers are hereby expressed to those who have kindly granted permission to use copyrighted material.
|1.||The Shot Heard Round the World||1|
|2.||A King of Heroes||20|
|3.||The Defense of Liége||31|
|4.||The Destruction of Louvain||38|
|6.||And the Cock Crew||Amelia Josephine Burr||57|
|7.||A Belgian Lawyer's Appeal||59|
|9.||Son||Robert W. Service||66|
|10.||The Case of Serbia||David Lloyd George||68|
|11.||The Murder of Captain Fryatt||71|
|13.||"Let Us Save the Kiddies"||81|
|14.||The Charge of the Black Watch and the Scots Greys||91|
|15.||The Battles of the Marne||94|
|16.||The Queen's Flower||105|
|17.||At School Near the Lines||108|
|18.||A Place in the Sun||112|
|20.||The Hun Target—The Red Cross||129|
|21.||"They Shall Not Pass"||140|
|23.||The Beast in Man||147|
|24.||When Germany Lost the War||New York Sun||155|
|25.||Carry on!||Robert W. Service||162|
|27.||The Belgian Prince||175[viii]|
|28.||Daring the Undarable||182|
|29.||Killing the Soul||189|
|30.||The Russian Revolution||195|
|31.||A Ballad of French Rivers||Christopher Morley||207|
|32.||Bacilli and Bullets||209|
|33.||The Torch of Valor||Sir Gilbert Parker||216|
|35.||The Mexican Plot||228|
|36.||Why We Fight Germany||Franklin K. Lane||242|
|38.||The Melting Pot||252|
|41.||Can War Ever be Right?||275|
|42.||What One American Did||293|
|44.||The God in Man||309|
|45.||In Flanders Fields||Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae||321|
|46.||The World War||322|
|47.||Nations and the Moral Law||John Bright||343|
Copyright by G.V. Buck. From Underwood & Underwood, N.Y.
President Wilson Announcing to Joint Session of Congress the Severance of Our Relations with Germany
On April 19, 1775, was fired "the shot heard round the world." It was the shot fired for freedom and democracy by the Americans at Lexington and Concord. In 1836, upon the completion of the battle monument at Concord, the gallant deeds of those early patriots were commemorated by Emerson in verse.
This is not the only shot for freedom fired by America and Americans. As President Wilson has said, "The might of America is the might of a sincere love for the freedom of mankind." The shots of the Civil War were fired for united democracy and universal freedom.
The soldiers and sailors of the United States fired upon the Spaniards in the Spanish-American War, that an oppressed people might be released and given an opportunity to live and work and grow in liberty.
That the Filipinos, like the Cubans, might learn to understand freedom, to safeguard it, and to use it wisely, has been the whole purpose of the United States in aiding them.
On April 6, 1917, the shot was heard again. The whole world had been listening anxiously for it, and was not disappointed.
Those against whom the first American shot for freedom was fired in 1775 have now become the strongest defenders of liberty and democracy. Their country is one of the three greatest democracies of the world. Shoulder to shoulder, the Americans and British fight for the freedom of mankind everywhere. They fight to defend the truth and to make this truth serve down-trodden peoples as well as the mighty.
Indeed, President Wilson has wisely said, "The only thing that ever set any man free, the only thing that ever set any nation free, is the truth. A man that is afraid of the truth is afraid of life. A man who does not love the truth is in the way of failure."
Germany has no love for the truth. The history of the empire is strewn with broken promises and acts of deceitfulness. America stands for something different. It stands for those ideals which President Wilson saw when he looked at the flag.
"And as I look at that flag," he said, "I seem to see many characters upon it which are not visible to the physical eye. There seem to move ghostly visions of devoted men who, looking at that flag, thought only of liberty, of the rights of mankind, of the mission of America to show the way to the world for the realization of the rights of mankind; and every grave of every brave man of the country would seem to have upon it the colors of the flag; if he was a true American, would seem to have on it that stain of red which means the true pulse of blood, and that beauty of pure white which means the peace of the soul. And then there seems to rise over the graves of those men and to hallow their memory, that blue space of the sky in which stars swim, these stars which exemplify for us that glorious galaxy of the States of the Union, bodies of free men banded together to vindicate the rights of mankind."
At Mount Vernon, he said, in speaking of the work of George Washington, "A great promise that was meant for all mankind was here given plan and reality." So for the sake of many peoples of Europe who were wronged, America has carried out that promise. When honorable Americans promise, they would rather give up life than fail to keep their word. But when the Germans promise it means only "a slip of the tongue," for this is also the meaning of the German word which is translated "promise."
That the United States has to fulfill this special mission of defending the truth is very clear. The great American leader said again in behalf of his people:
"I suppose that from the first America has had one particular mission in the world. Other nations have grown rich, other nations have been as powerful as we are in material resources; other nations have built up empires and exercised dominion. We are not alone in any of these things, but we are peculiar in this, that from the first we have dedicated our force to the service of justice and righteousness and peace.
"The princes among us are those who forget themselves and serve mankind. America was born into the world to do mankind's service, and no man is an American in whom the desire to do mankind's service is not greater than the desire to serve himself.
"Our life is but a little plan. One generation follows another very quickly. If a man with red blood in him had his choice, knowing that he must die, he would rather die to vindicate some right, unselfish to himself, than die in his bed. We are all touched with the love of the glory which is real glory, and the only glory comes from utter self-forgetfulness and self-sacrifice. We never erect a statue to a man who has merely succeeded. We erect statues to men who have forgotten themselves and been glorified by the memory of others. This is the standard that America holds up to mankind in all sincerity and in all earnestness.
"We have gone down to Mexico to serve mankind, if we can find out the way. We do not want to fight the Mexicans; we want to serve the Mexicans if we can, because we know how we would like to be free and how we would like to be served, if there were friends standing by ready to serve us. A war of aggression is not a war in which it is a proud thing to die, but a war of service is a thing in which it is a proud thing to die."
The liberty-loving nations now fighting in the World War desire that truth and freedom shall be secured even to the Germans along with all other peoples. If the Germans had possessed these priceless virtues, probably no World War would have been necessary. But the spirit of militarism has bound down and deceived the German people.
President Wilson, at West Point, said: "Militarism does not consist in the existence of any army, not even in the existence of a very great army. Militarism is a spirit. It is a point of view. It is a system. It is a purpose. The purpose of militarism is to use armies for aggression. The spirit of militarism is the opposite of the civilian spirit, the citizen spirit. In a country where militarism prevails, the military man looks down upon the civilian, regards him as inferior, thinks of him as intended for his, the military man's support and use, and just as long as America is America that spirit and point of view is impossible with us. There is as yet in this country, so far as I can discover, no taint of the spirit of militarism."
The people of Germany have given up their sons, paid enormous taxes which kept them poor but made landowners rich, all for the sake of the military whims of their superiors.
Any American would say, like President Wilson, "I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty. But we shall not be poor if we love liberty, because the nation that loves liberty truly sets every man free to do his best and be his best, and that means the release of all the splendid energies of a great people who think for themselves."
Thus, it is clear that America fights to serve. The Germans fight to get, even as their word "kriegen," used by them to mean "make war," really means "to get." For them, making war is never with the idea of service, but with the idea of getting. They desire many things for Germany, and to get them, they have used the most brutal force. Not for a moment would they stop to listen to the opinions of mankind throughout the world.
President Wilson spoke with authority, when he said: "I have not read history without observing that the greatest forces in the world and the only permanent forces are the moral forces. We have the evidence of a very competent witness, namely, the first Napoleon, who said that as he looked back in the last days of his life upon so much as he knew of human history, he had to record the judgment that force had never accomplished anything that was permanent. Force will not accomplish anything that is permanent, I venture to say, in the great struggle which is now going on on the other side of the sea. The permanent things will be accomplished afterward, when the opinion of mankind is brought to bear upon the issues, and the only thing that will hold the world steady is this same silent, insistent, all-powerful opinion of mankind. Force can sometimes hold things steady until opinion has time to form, but no force that was ever exerted except in response to that opinion was ever a conquering and predominant force."
By the opinions of mankind, he meant ideals, of which he had already said: "The pushing things in this world are ideals, not ideas. One ideal is worth twenty ideas."
Thus, in behalf of the great American nation, he calls upon the young Americans of to-day to follow the true spirit of their country. To them all he says, "You are just as big as the things you do, just as small as the things you leave undone. The size of your life is the scale of your thinking."
When this great American president who believed that moral force was always greater than physical force and who taught that America's mission in the world was to serve all mankind and finally to make them free; when he perceived after every other means had failed, that only physical force could affect Germany and that "the sore spot" in the world must be healed, as a cancer is, with the surgeon's knife; then he appeared in person, on April 2, 1917, before the Congress of the United States and read his great war message. Following his advice, Congress declared on April 6 that a state of war existed with Germany.
The message was in substance as follows:
Gentlemen of the Congress:
I have called the Congress into extraordinary session because there are serious, very serious, choices of policy to be made, and made immediately.
On the third of February last I laid before you the extraordinary announcement of the Imperial German Government that on and after the first day of February it was its purpose to put aside all restraints of law or of humanity and use its submarines to sink every vessel that sought to approach either the ports of Great Britain and Ireland or the western coasts of Europe or any of the ports controlled by the enemies of Germany within the Mediterranean.
The new policy has swept every restriction aside. Vessels of every kind, whatever their flag, their character, their cargo, their destination, their errand, have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom without warning and without thought of help or mercy for those on board, the vessels of friendly neutrals along with those of belligerents.
Even hospital ships and ships carrying relief to the stricken people of Belgium, though the latter were provided with safe-conduct by the German Government itself and were distinguished by unmistakable marks of identity, have been sunk with the same reckless lack of compassion or of principle....
I am not now thinking of the loss of property, immense and serious as that is, but only of the wanton and wholesale destruction of the lives of non-combatants, men, women, and children, engaged in pursuits which have always, even in the darkest periods of modern history, been deemed innocent and lawful. Property can be paid for; the lives of peaceful and innocent people cannot be.
The present German submarine warfare against commerce is a warfare against mankind. It is a war against all nations. American ships have been sunk, American lives taken, in ways which it has stirred us very deeply to learn of, but the ships and people of other neutral and friendly nations have been sunk in the waters in the same way. The challenge is to all mankind. Each nation must decide for itself how it will meet it.
The choice we make for ourselves must be made after very careful thought. We must put excited feeling away. Our motives will not be revenge or the victorious show of the physical might of the nation, but only the vindication of right, of human rights, of which we are only a single champion....
The German Government denies the right of neutrals to use arms at all within the areas of the sea which it has proscribed, even in the defense of their rights. The armed guards which we have placed on our merchant ships will be treated as beyond the pale of law and subject to be dealt with as pirates would be.
There is one choice we cannot make, we are incapable of making; we will not choose the path of submission and suffer the most sacred rights of our nation and our people to be ignored or violated. The wrongs against which we now array ourselves are not common wrongs; they cut to the very roots of human life.
With a profound sense of the solemn step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty, I advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the Government and people of the United States; that it formally accept the status of belligerent which has thus been thrust upon it and that it take immediate steps not only to put the country in a more thorough state of defense, but also to exert all its power and employ all its resources to bring the Government of the German Empire to terms and end the war.
While we do these things—these deeply momentous things—let us be very clear, and make very clear to all the world what our motives and our objects are. Our object is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world against selfish and autocratic power and to set up among the really free and self-governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and action as will henceforth insure the observance of those principles.
Neutrality is no longer desirable where the peace of the world is involved and the freedom of its peoples; and the menace to that peace and freedom lies in the existence of autocratic governments backed by organized force which is controlled wholly by their will, not by the will of their people.
We have no quarrel with the German people. We have no feeling toward them but one of sympathy and friendship. It was not upon their impulse that their Government acted in entering this war. It was not with their knowledge or approval.
A steadfast concert for peace can never be maintained except by a partnership of democratic nations. No autocratic Government could be trusted to keep faith within it, or to observe its agreements. It must be a league of honor, a partnership of opinion. Intrigue would eat its vitals away; the plotting of inner circles, who could plan what they would and render an account to no one, would be a corruption seated at its very heart. Only free peoples can hold their purpose and their honor steady to a common end, and prefer the interests of mankind to any narrow interests of their own.
Indeed, it is now evident that German spies were here even before the war began. They have played their part in serving to convince us at last that that Government entertains no real friendship for us, and means to act against our peace and security at its convenience. That it means to stir up enemies against us at our very doors, the note to the German Minister at Mexico City is eloquent evidence.
We are accepting this challenge because we know that in such a Government, following such methods, we can never have a friend; and that in the presence of its organized power, always lying in wait to accomplish we know not what purpose, there can be no assured security of the democratic governments of the world.
We are now about to accept gage of battle with this natural foe of liberty, and shall, if necessary, spend the whole force of the nation to check and nullify its pretensions and its power. We are glad, now that we see the facts with no veil of false pretense about them, to fight thus for the peace of the world and for the liberation of its peoples, the German people included; for the rights of nations great and small and the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and of obedience. The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty.
We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of the nations can make them.
Just because we fight without rancor and without selfish object, seeking nothing for ourselves but what we shall wish to share with all free people, we shall, I feel confident, conduct our operations as belligerents without passion and ourselves observe the principles of right and of fair play we profess to be fighting for.
It will be all the easier for us to conduct ourselves as belligerents in a high spirit of right and fairness because we act without animus, not in enmity toward a people or with the desire to bring any injury or disadvantage upon them, but only in armed opposition to an irresponsible Government which has thrown aside all considerations of humanity and of right, and is running amuck.
We are, let me say again, the sincere friends of the German people, and shall desire nothing so much as the early reëstablishment of intimate relations of mutual advantage between us, however hard it may be for them, for the time being, to believe that this is spoken from our hearts.
We have borne with their present Government through all these bitter months because of that friendship, exercising a patience and forbearance which would otherwise have been impossible. We shall, happily, still have an opportunity to prove that friendship in our daily attitude and actions toward the millions of men and women of German birth and native sympathy who live among us and share our life, and we shall be proud to prove it toward all who are in fact loyal to their neighbors and to the Government in the hour of test.
They are, most of them, as true and loyal Americans as if they had never known any other fealty or allegiance. They will be prompt to stand with us in rebuking and restraining the few who may be of a different mind and purpose.
If there should be disloyalty, it will be dealt with with a firm hand of stern repression; but if it lifts its head at all, it will lift it only here and there and without countenance except from a lawless and malignant few.
It is a distressing and oppressive duty, gentlemen of the Congress, which I have performed in thus addressing you. There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great, peaceful people into war—into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance.
But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own government, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free people as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.
To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other.
On July 4, 1918, the United States had been at war for more than a year, and it seemed to the millions of people who were anxiously waiting for the peaceful giant to awake that very little had been accomplished. They were fearful that the Germans in their next great offensive, for which they had been preparing for over two months, might capture Paris, or at least get near enough to it to destroy the city with their long range artillery. The offensives, already launched by the Germans, had been frightfully effective, and the Allies felt that American soldiers in large numbers were necessary to save them from possible disaster. They were looking for a great "push" by the enemy and one that German leaders had promised the people at home would bring victory and settle the war in their favor. This offensive, as we know, was launched on July 15 and instead of succeeding was changed by Marshal Foch's counter-stroke into a serious defeat for the Germans.
But this outcome could not of course be predicted in America on July 4, and hearts were heavy with fear that the United States might after all be too slow and too late. It was not then generally known that during the months of May and June, over a half million American soldiers had been landed in France.
On July 4, 1776, the American colonies by a Declaration of Independence determined to fight for liberty and democracy; on April 6, 1917, the American Congress declared that the United States would help defeat the selfish aims of Germany. In the early fight of the American colonies for independence, the first battles were fought in April and the Declaration of Independence was signed in July of the next year; in the fight for the liberty of all peoples, the German included, the Americans entered the war in April, and the President on July 4 of the following year, standing at the tomb of Washington at Mount Vernon, read a Declaration of Independence, not for America alone, but for the entire world.
In 1776, the declaration was supported by a small army of a few small colonies, in 1918 the declaration was supported by the full strength of the greatest and wealthiest nation on the globe.
It was a beautiful day with a cloudless sky and a cooling breeze. President Wilson and his party, including members of the cabinet; the British ambassador, the Earl of Reading; the French ambassador, Jules J. Jusserand; and other members of the diplomatic corps, had come down the Potomac from Washington on the President's steam yacht, the Mayflower.
When they had gathered around the tomb of Washington near his old home, Mount Vernon, on the banks of the beautiful Potomac River, representatives of thirty-three nations placed wreaths of palms on the tomb to show their fealty to the principles for which the "Father of His Country" fought; then all stood with bared heads while John McCormack sang "The Star-Spangled Banner." As the beautiful notes rose and swelled and echoed over the hallowed ground, into the hearts of all present came the conviction that the starry flag would soon bring to all the peoples of the world the peace and security that surrounded that historic group at Mount Vernon.
Then the President with the marines about him, and beyond them thousands of American citizens, began to read the Declaration of the Independence of the World. It is so simple in language that even children of twelve years of age may understand nearly all of it, and it is so deep and noble in thought that even the greatest scholars and statesmen will find it worthy of close study. It will stand forever with Washington's Farewell Address and Lincoln's Gettysburg Speech as a great American document. It is as follows, except that the four ends for which the world is fighting are restated in briefer form:
Gentlemen of the Diplomatic Corps and my Fellow-Citizens:
I am happy to draw apart with you to this quiet place of old counsel in order to speak a little of the meaning of this day of our nation's independence. The place seems very still and remote. It is as serene and untouched by hurry of the world as it was in those great days long ago, when General Washington was here and held leisurely conference with the men who were to be associated with him in the creation of a nation.
From these gentle slopes, they looked out upon the world and saw it whole, saw it with the light of the future upon it, saw it with modern eyes that turned away from a past which men of liberated spirits could no longer endure. It is for that reason that we cannot feel, even here, in the immediate presence of this sacred tomb, that this is a place of death. It was a place of achievement.
A great promise that was meant for all mankind was here given plan and reality. The associations by which we are here surrounded are the inspiriting associations of that noble death which is only a glorious consummation. From this green hillside we also ought to be able to see with comprehending eyes the world that lies around us and conceive anew the purpose that must set men free.
It is significant—significant of their own character and purpose and of the influences they were setting afoot—that Washington and his associates, like the barons at Runnymede, spoke and acted, not for a class but for a people. It has been left for us to see to it that it shall be understood that they spoke and acted, not for a single people only, but for all mankind. They were thinking not of themselves and of the material interests which centered in the little groups of landholders and merchants and men of affairs with whom they were accustomed to act, in Virginia and the colonies to the north and south of here, but of a people which wished to be done with classes and special interests and the authority of men whom they had not themselves chosen to rule over them.
They entertained no private purpose, desired no peculiar privilege. They were consciously planning that men of every class should be free and America a place to which men out of every nation might resort who wished to share with them the rights and privileges of freemen. And we take our cue from them—do we not? We intend what they intended.
We here in America believe our participation in this present war to be only the fruitage of what they planted. Our case differs from theirs only in this, that it is our inestimable privilege to concert with men out of every nation what shall make not only the liberties of America secure, but the liberties of every other people as well. We are happy in the thought that we are permitted to do what they would have done had they been in our place. There must now be settled once for all what was settled for America in the great age upon whose inspiration we draw to-day.
This is surely a fitting place from which calmly to look out upon our task that we may fortify our spirits for its accomplishment. And this is the appropriate place from which to avow, alike to the friends who look on and to the friends with whom we have the happiness to be associated in action, the faith and purpose with which we act.
This, then, is our conception of the great struggle in which we are engaged. The plot is written plain upon every scene and every act of the supreme tragedy. On the one hand stand the peoples of the world—not only the peoples actually engaged, but many others also who suffer under mastery but cannot act; peoples of many races and every part of the world—the peoples of stricken Russia still, among the rest, though they are for the moment unorganized and helpless. Opposed to them, masters of many armies, stand an isolated, friendless group of governments who speak no common purpose, but only selfish ambitions of their own by which none can profit but themselves, and whose peoples are fuel in their hands; governments which fear their people and yet are for the time their sovereign lords, making every choice for them and disposing of their lives and fortunes as they will, as well as of the lives and fortunes of every people who fall under their power—governments clothed with the strange trappings and the primitive authority of an age that is altogether alien and hostile to our own. The past and the present are in deadly grapple and the peoples of the world are being done to death between them.
There can be but one issue. The settlement must be final. There can be no compromise. No half-way decision would be tolerable. No half-way decision is conceivable. These are the ends for which the associated peoples of the world are fighting and which must be conceded them before there can be peace:
1. Every power anywhere that can secretly and of its own single choice bring war upon the world must be bound or destroyed.
2. All questions must be settled in accordance with the wishes of the people concerned.
3. The same respect for honor and for law that leads honorable men to hold their promises as sacred and to keep them at any cost must direct the nations in dealing with one another.
4. A league of nations must be formed strong enough to insure the peace of the world.
These great objects can be put into a single sentence. What we seek is the reign of law, based upon the consent of the governed and sustained by the organized opinion of mankind.
These great ends cannot be achieved by debating and seeking to reconcile and accommodate what statesmen may wish, with their projects for balances of power and national opportunity. They can be realized only by the determination of what the thinking peoples of the world desire, with their longing hope for justice and for social freedom and opportunity.
I cannot but fancy that the air of this place carries the accents of such principles with a peculiar kindness. Here were started forces which the great nation against which they were primarily directed at first regarded as a revolt against its rightful authority, but which it has long since seen to have been a step in the liberation of its own peoples as well as of the people of the United States; and I stand here now to speak—speak proudly and with confident hope—of the spread of this revolt, this liberation, to the great stage of the world itself! The blinded rulers of Prussia have aroused forces they know little of—forces which, once aroused, can never be crushed to earth again; for they have at their heart an inspiration and a purpose which are deathless and of the very stuff of triumph!
"King" is not a word that will go out of use when the world has been won for democracy. We shall still use it much as we do now, when we say, "He is a prince" or "He is a king among men"; for there are still good kings, as well as bad ones. Some countries that are really democratic prefer to keep kings as reminders of their past and as ornaments of their present.
England is really more democratic than the United States and yet England has a king; and as some one has said, he is a king and a democrat and a king of democrats. This was well shown by his letter to the first American soldiers who marched through London in April, 1918, on their way to the battle line in France. Each soldier was handed an envelope bearing the inscription, "A message to you from his majesty, King George V." In the envelope was the letter shown on the opposite page, from a democratic king to the American soldiers in the army of democracy.
No autocratic king or kaiser desires to shake the hand of each of his soldiers or to become in any way one of them. To an autocrat, to the German Kaiser, to the German officers, the German privates are only Things to be used as are swords and guns. A wounded German officer felt insulted because he was made well again in an English hospital in the same ward with German privates.
An interesting story is told of a Red Cross nurse, to whom a badly wounded man was brought at a field hospital during one of the battles in which the brave little Belgian army was trying to hold back the invading Germans. All the surgeons were busy, and the man needed assistance at once. The nurse knew what was needed to save his life until he could receive surgical treatment, and she knew how to do it; but she could not do it alone. She must have help at once, and of the right kind.
She was about to give up in despair, when she saw a man walking through the field hospital, cheering the sufferers and asking if he could be of any assistance. She called to him, and when he came she said, "You can save this man's life if you will help me and do just what I tell you, just when I tell you to do it. Do you think you can take orders and obey them promptly?"
"I think so," replied the man. "Let us save this poor soldier's life, if we can."
The nurse set to work, telling the stranger just what she wanted him to do. She wasted no words, but gave orders as if she expected them to be obeyed quickly and intelligently. The stranger proved himself equal to the occasion, and the delicate work which saved the man's life was soon done.
"Thank you," said the nurse, as she finished. "I see you are used to taking orders and know how to obey. I shall remain with this soldier, until he regains consciousness. He will want to know to whose assistance he owes his life. Kindly give me your name."
The stranger hesitated. Then he said, "The soldier really owes his life to you, but I am glad if I was able to help. If he asks, you may tell him the people call me Albert."
And all at once the commanding little Red Cross nurse understood that the tall, quiet man, who, she said, showed that he was used to taking orders, was Albert, King of the Belgians.
Italy has a king and Belgium has a king; but like King George of England they are democratic kings, exercising what authority is granted to them by the people in accordance with a constitution. The German Kaiser claims to hold all authority of life and death over his people, including the right of declaring defensive war, by "divine right," by God's choice of him and his family to rule.
When Germany, at the outbreak of the war in 1914, resolved to break the treaty in which with other nations she had pledged herself never to violate, but always to defend, the neutrality of Belgium; when she was ready to declare to the world that a sacred treaty was only "a scrap of paper" to be torn up whenever her needs seemed to require it, she sent on Sunday night, August 2, 1914, at seven o'clock, an ultimatum to the Belgian government—to be answered within twelve hours—in substance as follows:
The German Government has received information, of the accuracy of which there can be no doubt, that it may be the intention of France to send her forces across Belgium to attack Germany.
The German Government fears that Belgium, no matter how good her intentions, may not be able unaided to prevent such a French advance; and therefore it is necessary for the protection of Germany that she should act at once.
The German Government would be very sorry to have Belgium consider her action in this matter as a hostile act, for it is forced upon Germany by her enemies. In order to prevent any misunderstanding, the German Government declares:
1. Germany intends no hostile act against Belgium, and if Belgium makes no resistance, the German Government pledges the security of the Belgian Kingdom and all its possessions.
2. Germany pledges herself to evacuate all Belgian territory at the end of the war.
3. Germany will pay cash for all supplies needed by her troops which Belgians are willing to sell her and will make good any damage caused by her forces.
4. If Belgium resists the advance of the German forces, the German Government will be compelled to consider Belgium as an enemy and will act accordingly. If not, the friendly relations which have long united the two nations will become stronger and more lasting.
In twelve hours Belgium must make a decision that would change her entire future history and, as later events proved, the history of Europe and of the world. She made it; and by that decision she sacrificed herself and brought death and destruction upon her people and her possessions, but she saved her honor and her soul. Germany had promised her everything, if she would only let the German armies march unhindered through Belgium into France. No Belgian should be harmed or disturbed, and anything needed by the German army would be paid for. After the Germans had won the war, as they doubtless would have done if Belgium had not blocked their way, Belgium would have become a thriving, wealthy kingdom, under German protection. Antwerp would have been perhaps the greatest port in the world, and Brussels, next to Berlin, the world's most magnificent capital. But the Belgians did not hesitate nor did their heroic king.
The Belgian Government replied on Monday morning, at four o'clock, in substance as follows:
The Note from the German Government has caused the most painful surprise to the Belgian Government. The French on August 1 assured us most emphatically that they would respect our neutrality. If this should prove to be false, the Belgian army will offer the greatest possible resistance to invasion by them. The neutrality of Belgium is guaranteed by the powers, among them Germany, and the attack which the German Government threatens to make on Belgium would be a violation of the Law of Nations. No military necessity can justify such a violation of right.
The Belgian Government, if it accepted the proposals of Germany, would sacrifice the honor of the nation and betray its duty to Europe; and it therefore refuses to believe that this will be demanded in order to maintain its independence. If this expectation proves unfounded, the Belgian Government is fully decided to resist by all means in its power any attack against its rights.
On Tuesday the King brought in person a message to the Belgian Legislature, as President Wilson has often brought such messages to the American Congress. King Albert's message was in substance as follows:
Not since 1830 has Belgium passed through such an anxious hour. Our independence is threatened. We still have hope that what we dread may not happen; but if we have to resist invasion and defend our homes, that duty will find us armed, courageous, and ready for any sacrifice. Already our young men have risen to defend their country in danger. I send to them, in the name of the nation, a brotherly greeting. Everywhere in the provinces of Flanders and of Walloon alike, in city and country, one feeling fills all minds—that our duty is to resist the enemies of our independence with firm courage and as a united nation.
The perfect mobilization of our army, the great number of volunteers, the devotion of the citizens, the self-denial of families have shown beyond doubt the bravery of the Belgian people. The moment to act has come.
No one in this nation will betray his duty. The army is ready, and the Government has absolute trust in its leaders and its soldiers.
If the foreigner violates our territory, he will find all Belgians grouped round their King and their Government, in which they have absolute confidence.
I have faith in our destinies. A nation which defends its rights commands the respect of all. Such a nation cannot die. God will be with us in a just cause. Long live independent Belgium!
Hardly had the King finished his noble message, when the Prime Minister announced to the Legislature that Germany had declared war upon Belgium, and that her troops were moving against Liége.
Never as long as men remember the history of these fateful days will the decisive action of the heroic Belgian people and of their heroic king be forgotten. The slightest hesitation between right and wrong would have set civilization and human liberty back perhaps a thousand years. And the decision had to be made not only by a people, but by a young king with German blood in his veins and married to a German princess—and between sunset and sunrise.
Did he see the horrors before him and his people? Did he see the destruction of the most beautiful buildings in the world, the pride of his people? Did he see the tearing down and burning of the entire city of Louvain, with its university and its valuable library containing some of the oldest and most nearly priceless books and manuscripts? Did he see the children and the aged dying by the roadside of hunger and fatigue? Did he see the Belgian men carried off as slaves to work in Germany?
Do you think he or his Queen would have hesitated if he had? No one who really knows them thinks so. Nothing can justify choosing the wrong. King Albert, the King of Heroes, and Queen Elizabeth of the Belgians are honored and respected by all who love liberty and justice, for it has been well said, "Treaties and engagements are certainly scraps of paper, just as promises are no more than breaths. But upon such scraps of paper and breaths the fabric of civilization has been built, and without them its everyday activity would come to an end." They represent truly the heroic Belgian people who by their decision on Sunday night, August 2, 1914, saved the world. Queen Elizabeth, although a Bavarian princess, has said of the Germans, "Between them and me has fallen a curtain of iron which will never again be lifted."
The Belgian Minister to the United States said of King Albert after the war had begun:
"It is when one talks with our soldiers that one perceives how he is loved; they say, all of them, that they will die for him. He is constantly at their side, encouraging them by his presence and his courage. At certain moments, he adventures too far; always he is in the very midst of combat."
King Albert of Belgium
The King and Queen are both of them unusually brave and daring. Not many royal pairs would trust their lives to cross the English Channel and return in an airplane, as they did in the summer of 1918 to attend a celebration held by the King and Queen of England.
A Belgian soldier writing of King Albert said: "The King came and placed himself at my side in the trench. He took the rifle of a soldier so tired he could not stand, to give him a chance to rest, and fired, just like the other soldiers, for an hour and a half. He himself often carries their letters to the soldiers and distributes among them the little bundles which their friends and parents send them from the homes now destroyed. He shares their mess with the soldiers and he calls them always 'my friends.' He does not want that they shall do him honor; he wishes simply to be a soldier in all that the word soldier means. One night he was seen, exhausted by fatigue, sleeping on the grass at the side of the road."
Do you wonder that the Belgians love their King and that the world honors him as the Hero King of a Nation of Heroes?
To Germany's unfair and treacherous proposal that Belgium be false to her promises to the world, there was but one answer for Belgium. It was "No." Immediately after this reply had been received by the German minister, and just as King Albert had finished his noble speech and left the House, the Belgian Prime Minister had to announce to Parliament that Germany had already declared war and that even at that moment the German soldiers were advancing toward Liége, and within a few hours would be besieging the city.
Liége was the industrial center of Belgium, just as Antwerp was the commercial, and Brussels the political center, or capital. The city of Liége was famous for its coal mines, glass factories, and iron works. Of the latter the Cockerill Works of Seraing have been named as second only to Krupp's. The city is important historically and also politically—being the truest democracy in Europe. Its people were happy and free. Its governor was trusted and respected, but no less bound by common law than the people themselves.
Liége also has great strategic advantages. Situated on the left bank of the Meuse, in a valley at the junction of three rivers, it is a natural stronghold. It was besides supposed to be fortified more perfectly than any other city in the world. A ring of twelve forts surrounded it, six of them large and powerful, six not so powerful and smaller.
One weakness, however, as General Emmich, commander of the German forces, knew, was the great distance between the forts. The small forts were not placed between the large ones; but two of the smaller works were together on the southwest, two in a ten-mile gap across the northeast, a fifth was between two of the larger forts on the southeast. The three points where the small forts were situated were the places that the enemy planned to attack.
Another weakness was the smallness of the garrison,—74,000 men were needed for the defense of Liége and Namur, and only about a hundred men were stationed in some of the forts.
But the Belgians were equally aware of the weak points. General Leman gave orders to throw up entrenchments between forts and to fill the garrison. Even then, the number of men in the forts was but 25,000, when it should have been at least 50,000.
Yet the Belgian soldiers, following the example of their brave leader, General Leman, did all they could to prepare a strong resistance.
Without any delay, the German commander, on August 5, sent forward his men in the 7th army corps with the purpose of taking Fort Evegnée, the little fort on the southeast. No time was taken to bring up the heavy guns—the Germans thought they would not need them. In this they were mistaken.
Three times they rushed forward, but were repulsed. The third time they reached the Belgian trenches; but, obeying an order to counter-attack, the Belgians rushed out and drove the Germans back, inflicting heavy losses and taking 800 prisoners.
At the same time, an attack was made from the northeast by the German 9th corps. The fighting was even fiercer here, but the enemy managed to break through the defenses. During the fighting, the enemy schemed to capture the Belgian general. Could they take General Leman, they thought, the Belgian soldiers would not long hold out. Therefore, when the fight was fiercest, eight Uhlans, two officers, and six privates, mistaken for Englishmen because they were in English uniform, rode to the headquarters of General Leman and attempted to take him prisoner. But they were discovered and either killed or captured, after a hand-to-hand struggle in the headquarter's building with members of the Belgian staff aided by gendarmes. Heavy street fighting forced the Germans back of the defenses once more. Then, by a decisive counter-attack, the second attack of the enemy was repulsed.
That same night came a third attack from the southeast again, against Fort Evegnée, and also from the southwest against the two small forts, Chaudfontaine and Embourg.
It was a bright moonlight night. The Belgians on the southwest took advantage of it to work at strengthening their defenses. They needed no lights and used none, for they were in less danger of being seen by the enemy.
If the Germans should take this part of the city, it would be particularly valuable to them, for here were the great iron works, the railway depots, the electric lighting works, and the small-arms and gun factory. Besides, they could then without doubt easily march on through Belgium and, as the German commander planned, overrun France. France surely needed all the time which the brave Belgian soldiers could save for her, for it had never been thought that Germany would break through on that side. France, since her previous war with Germany, when she had lost the beautiful provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, had massed her garrisons on the eastern line. In fact, very few forts had been built on the Belgian side, since the two countries had always maintained friendly relationships with each other, and the neutrality of Belgium was guaranteed by the Powers. Now, if Germany could not be held back until the French soldiers could be brought up to the Belgian border, then Germany's plan of greed and tyranny would be successful, and all of Europe would be lost. To check the Germans here meant to save the rest of Europe.
The city of Liége lay in darkness, save for the light of the kindly moon. From among the crowd of buildings, the old citadel arose like a great shadow. The searchlights flashed fitfully from the forts, traveling across the enemy's position, while the men watched, half expecting that the enemy would advance in the darkness, as so many of Germany's black deeds were committed under cover of night. Over the country, to the east, lay the ruined buildings, the broken walls, and the dead from the fearful conflict of that day.
Half an hour before midnight, a storm of shot and shell broke upon the trenches. High explosive shells burst with brilliant flashes and loud uproar. The guns from the forts replied, and the city shook in the thundering shock.
Heavy forces of Germans advanced, made a rush for the ditches, but were pushed back. Just before daybreak, however, the 10th corps crept up silently and rushed forward in a mass. The searchlights were thrown upon them, and the guns of the Belgian regiments fired upon them. Only after a hard fight, lasting five long hours, did the Germans break and run.
But with all the heroism of the Belgian garrison, after four days and four nights of ceaseless fighting, the men were exhausted. They could not be relieved, while the Germans had many fresh troops in reserve. The Belgian gunners might be able to hold the forts, but they could not long hold the stretches of ground between. But by this time the Belgian staff realized this and ordered two of the generals to withdraw secretly with their forces while yet there was time. General Leman was left in charge of the remaining forces to continue the brave defense of the works. The Germans had brought up their heavy artillery. Sooner or later they would break through.
On August 6, the Germans cut their way through between the forts and entered the city. The forts held out for a time, still holding the enemy from crossing the rivers. Once they had nearly crossed the large bridge over the Meuse, but the Belgians blew it up, and time after time, as the pontoon-bridges of the Germans were thrown across, above and below Liége, the fire from the forts destroyed them.
Then, surrounded by enemies inside the city and outside, the garrison was forced to retire. In the latter part of August, all the forts of Liége were in the hands of the Germans. But Belgium had made a brave resistance; she had stood like Horatius at the bridge. She had kept the Germans back, and by so delaying them had saved Europe.
The defense of Liége was one of the most brilliant military achievements and one of the decisive events in world history.
Its brave leader, General Leman, did not see the close of the siege. He was wounded and captured when Fort Loncin, the large fort where he had taken his stand with his men, exploded under the terrific fire of the enemy. But from his prison, he sent the following letter to King Albert:
After a severe engagement fought on August 4, 5, and 6, I considered that the forts of Liége could not play any other part but that of stopping the advance of the enemy. I maintained the military government in order to coördinate the defense as much as possible and in order to exert a moral influence on the garrison.
Your Majesty is aware that I was at the Fort of Loncin on August 6 at noon.
Your Majesty will learn with sorrow that the fort exploded yesterday at 5:20 P.M., and that the greater part of the garrison is buried under the ruins. If I have not died in this catastrophe, it is owing to the fact that my work had removed me from the stronghold. Whilst I was being suffocated by the gases after the explosion of the powder, a German captain gave me a drink. I was then made a prisoner and brought to Liége. I am aware that this letter is lacking in sequence, but I am physically shaken by the explosion of the Fort of Loncin. For the honor of our armies I have refused to surrender the fortress and the forts. May your Majesty deign to forgive me. In Germany, where I am taken, my thoughts will be, as they have always been, with Belgium and her King. I would willingly have given my life better to serve them, but death has not been granted me.
More than one hundred years ago, Napoleon, the famous French general, started out to conquer the world, just as the Germans have been dreaming of doing. Napoleon had almost unbelievable success—carrying the banner of France into practically the whole of Europe. But into whatever provinces Napoleon went, though bent upon the subjugation of a world, he never allowed his army to wantonly lay waste and destroy. There was great attraction for him in the wonderful works of art which he found in many of the large cities. He ordered his men to seize these works secretly and to carry them back to Paris. There they were preserved. France indeed is now named the preserver of the arts.
Had the German officers done even this, their crime would not be so great to-day. The French not only saved art and property, but also tried to save the lives of non-combatants as often as possible.
One of the leading daily papers of Cologne, Germany, explained in its issue of February 10, 1915, why the German soldiers have committed deeds that will forever shame the German people in the minds of the rest of humanity. Like the invasion of Belgium, these deeds are not defended as right or just but as necessary to help on the German advance to victory. The article read as follows:
We have adopted it as a principle that the wrong-doing of an individual must be expiated by the entire community to which he belongs. The village in which our troops are fired upon will be burned. If the guilty one is not found, substitutes will be chosen from the population at large, and will be executed under martial law.... The innocent must suffer with the guilty, and, if the latter are not caught, must receive punishment in their place, not because a crime has been committed, but to prevent the commission of a future crime. Every case in which a village is burned down, or hostages are executed, or the inhabitants of a village which has taken arms against our invading forces are killed, is a warning to the inhabitants of the territory not yet occupied. There can be no doubt that the destruction of Battice, Herve, Louvain, and Dinant has served as warning. The devastation and bloodshed of the opening days of the war have prevented the larger Belgian cities from attempting any attacks upon the weak forces with which it was necessary for us to hold them.
The destruction of works of art and of the beautiful cathedrals built in the Middle Ages cannot be explained and defended in this way, but some other pitiable and often childish excuse is offered. The Germans always assume that others do as they would do in the same circumstances. They assumed England would not interfere, if the neutrality of Belgium was violated, for Germany would not have interfered, had she been in England's place. They assumed the French and English would use the towers of the cathedrals for observation posts, for Germany would have done so; and although they were promised by the Allied officers that the towers would not be so used and were informed by the bishops and priests that they were not so used, yet they proceeded to destroy the beautiful structures. Their own promises and statements in a similar case would have been of no value, and so they assumed the promises of others were valueless and that the priests had been compelled to lie about the matter, as the Germans would have forced them to do, if possible.
They also fired upon the cathedrals of Ypres, Soissons, Arras, and Rheims in retaliation, whenever the enemy bombarded the German lines near by. Destroying a cathedral was like killing pure and beautiful women and children. The Huns felt the Allies would let them advance rather than have it happen.
As the Germans were on their way to seize Antwerp, after they had taken the Belgian capital, they were driven out of Malines and turned upon Louvain. They were greatly irritated at the strong resistance which the Belgian army was making. They even feared that suddenly Belgium's allies would join her at Antwerp and invade Germany, upsetting the German plans entirely.
Therefore they sought to terrorize and subdue the country by a complete destruction of Louvain, one of the most ancient and historic towns in that section of Europe. Its buildings and monuments were of world-wide interest.
Repulsed and chased back to the outskirts of Louvain, the troops were ordered to destroy the town. The soldiers marched down the streets, singing and jeering, while the officers rode about in their military automobiles with an air of bravado, as they contemplated the deed they were about to do. They first attempted to anger the people, so as to have some pretext for the criminal deed they had determined upon. But the people, knowing the character of the Germans, showed remarkable restraint. They gave up all firearms, even old rifles and bows and arrows that were valuable historic relics. They housed and fed their enemies, paid them immense sums of money; and when the commander sent for two hundred and fifty mattresses, they even brought their own beds and cast them, with everything they could lay hands on, down into the market-place. They knew the penalty for refusal was the death of their respected burgomaster.
The people of Boston, at the time of the Revolution, refused to feed and house the British soldiers. But these people of Louvain submitted to much worse than that, hoping that the enemy would pass on and spare their lives and their homes.
But on Tuesday evening, August 25, as the people were sitting down to their evening meal, the soldiers suddenly rushed wildly through the streets, and furnished with bombs, set fire to all parts of the town. That night witnessed some of the most terrible deeds in all history. The town of 45,000 inhabitants was wiped out; many of the citizens were killed, and others were sent by train to an unknown destination. Besides the loss of life, there was lost to the world forever a great store of historic and artistic wealth.
But one principal building in all the town was left standing—the Hotel de Ville. This was purposely saved as a monument to German authority, when the whole country should be taken over and rebuilt as a German-Belgium!
This cowardly act of cruelty will always stand out as typical of German atrocity. Louvain was undefended and was already in the hands of the Germans. By this one deed perhaps more than any other, Germany showed to what depths of degradation she would stoop. By the destruction of Louvain, she put back civilization and culture for five hundred years, and her own good name was burned away from among the nations of the world. The Germans from that day were branded as the enemies of the human race. The world sprang with united sympathy to the side of little Belgium—so that for her the destruction of Louvain meant more than a glorious victory.
He is an old man, nearly seventy, with thin, grayish-white hair. He is very tall, as was Abraham Lincoln, nearly six feet and six inches. He is thin, with deep-set, jet-black eyes, and thin, almost bloodless lips.
He is a symbol of oppressed Belgium,—frail in body, lacking great physical strength, but standing tall and erect with flashing eyes; unconquerable because of his unconquerable soul.
The spirit of such men as he, and of such nations as his beloved Belgium, is well expressed in Henley's now famous "Invictus."
Amidst all the horrible deeds committed by the Germans in Belgium, Cardinal Mercier has spoken the truth publicly and fearlessly. His unconquerable soul seems to have protected his frail body. He is one of the great heroes of brave, suffering Belgium—a hero who carries neither sword nor gun; but his courage might be envied by every soldier on the field of battle, and his judgment by every commander directing them.
The Germans seemed to fear him from the first. General von Bissing, who was the German Governor of invaded Belgium, wrote to Cardinal Mercier, after the Cardinal's Easter letter to the oppressed Belgians appeared, and called him to account, suggesting what might happen to him if he did not cease his attacks upon the Germans and German methods.
The Cardinal replied that he would never surrender his liberty of judgment and that, whenever the orders and laws of the Germans were in conflict with the laws of God, he would follow the latter and advise his people to do the same.
"We render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's," he wrote, "for we pay you the silent dread of your strength, but we keep, sacred in our hearts and free from your orders, our ideas of right and wrong.
"It was not without careful thought that we denounced to the world the evils you have done to our brothers and sisters—frightful evils and horrible crimes, the tragic horror of which cold reason refuses to admit.
"But had we not done so, we should have felt ourselves unworthy of our high office.
"As a Belgian, we have heard the cries of sorrow of our people; as a patriot, we have sought to heal the wounds of our country; and as a bishop, we have denounced the crimes against innocent priests."
They deprived him of his automobile, with which he used to hasten to all parts of Belgium to assist and comfort sufferers from German tyranny and torture. They ordered him to remain in his residence.
As a part of his church duty, he wished to go to Brussels to celebrate high mass. He applied for a pass which would allow him to go by train or trolley. An excuse was invented for refusing it. Then the Cardinal sent word to the Commandant that he must go and that he would walk. Two hours afterward he left his residence on foot, accompanied by two or three priests, and started on his walk of fifteen or more miles to Brussels.
Men, women, and children, and priests from every part of the city crowded about him and followed him, till he reached the German sentries, who stopped the crowd and demanded where they were going.
The Cardinal showed his Ausweiss, an identification card which every Belgian must carry, and he was allowed to proceed with two priests for companions. The other priests demanded the right to go on, and a heated dispute arose between them and the sentries. One of the priests lost his temper and forgot himself so far that he began to beat one of the sentries with his umbrella. The other sentry called for help, and the crowd was soon dispersed. The angry priest was put under arrest and led off to the guardhouse.
The Cardinal had gone on but a short way when the uproar behind him caused him to stop and look back at what was happening. When he saw the priest led off by the soldiers, he and his companions turned back and followed the soldiers to the little guardhouse. He walked directly in, looking neither to the right nor the left, standing a head above the rest of the crowd. He fixed his piercing black eyes upon the eyes of the priest; then he beckoned him to come and turned and walked out, followed by the priest.
The soldiers made no attempt to stop them. They seemed to recognize an authority that they could not help obeying, even though they did not want to. The Cardinal accompanied by the three priests went on down the road and out of Malines towards Brussels. They walked about half way to the city and then took the trolleys.
In speaking of the Germans, the Cardinal is reported to have said, "They are so stupid, these Germans! Sometimes I feel that they are like silly, cruel children, and that I should do something to help them."
He loves America and the Americans and is grateful for all that the United States have done for his suffering people. He told one of his fellow-workers who had become discouraged, "If you follow a great Captain, as I do, you will never be discouraged."
In him martyred Belgium has found a voice heard round the world. He has never ceased to denounce the atrocious crimes of the German masters of his country and he has continually sought to comfort and cheer his unhappy people. He sees far, and so he sees clearly the power outside ourselves that finally brings to Right the victory over Might. His Pastoral Letter, Christmas, 1914, will never be forgotten nor will the words of cheer to his suffering people when he reminds them of the greatest truth of life, that only through sacrifice and suffering come the things best worth while. His statement in letters to the German Commandant of the facts concerning the deportation of Belgians into Germany, to work as virtual slaves, will forever form part of the records of history's blackest deeds.
This Pastoral Letter of Christmas, 1914, is in part as follows:
It was in Rome itself that I received the tidings—stroke after stroke—of the destruction of the church of Louvain, of the burning of the Library and of the scientific laboratories of our great University and of the devastation of the city, and next of the wholesale shooting of citizens, and tortures inflicted upon women and children, and upon unarmed and undefended men. And while I was still under the shock of these calamities, the telegraph brought us news of the bombardment of our beautiful metropolitan church, of the church of Notre Dame, of the episcopal palace, and of a great part of our dear city of Malines.
Afar, without means of communication with you, I was compelled to lock my grief within my own afflicted heart, and to carry it, with the thought of you, which never left me, to my God.
I needed courage and light, and sought them in such thoughts as these. A disaster has come upon the world, and our beloved little Belgium, a nation so faithful in the great mass of her population to God, so upright in her patriotism, so noble in her King and Government, is the first sufferer. She bleeds; her sons are stricken down, within her fortresses, and upon her fields, in defense of her rights and of her territory. Soon there will not be one Belgian family not in mourning. Why all this sorrow, my God? Lord, Lord, hast Thou forsaken us?
The truth is that no disaster on earth is as terrible as that which our sins provoke.
I summon you to face what has befallen us, and to speak to you simply and directly of what is your duty, and of what may be your hope. That duty I shall express in two words: Patriotism and Endurance.
When, on my return from Rome, I went to Havre to greet our Belgian, French, and English wounded; when, later at Malines, at Louvain, at Antwerp, it was given to me to take the hands of those brave men who carried a bullet in their flesh, a wound on their forehead, because they had marched to the attack of the enemy, or borne the shock of his onslaught, it was a word of gratitude to them that rose to my lips. "O brave friends," I said, "it was for us, it was for each one of us, it was for me, that you risked your lives and are now in pain. I am moved to tell you of my respect, of my thankfulness, to assure you that the whole nation knows how much she is in debt to you."
For in truth our soldiers are our saviors.
A first time, at Liége, they saved France; a second time, in Flanders, they halted the advance of the enemy upon Calais. France and England know it; and Belgium stands before them both, and before the entire world, as a nation of heroes. Never before in my whole life did I feel so proud to be a Belgian as when, on the platforms of French stations, and halting a while in Paris, and visiting London, I was witness of the enthusiastic admiration our allies feel for the heroism of our army. Our King is, in the esteem of all, at the very summit of the moral scale; he is doubtless the only man who does not recognize that fact, as, simple as the simplest of his soldiers, he stands in the trenches and puts new courage, by the calmness of his face, into the hearts of those of whom he requires that they shall not doubt of their country. The foremost duty of every Belgian citizen at this hour is gratitude to the army.
If any man had rescued you from shipwreck or from a fire, you would hold yourselves bound to him by a debt of everlasting thankfulness. But it is not one man, it is two hundred and fifty thousand men who fought, who suffered, who fell for you so that you might be free, so that Belgium might keep her independence, so that after battle, she might rise nobler, purer, more erect, and more glorious than before.
Pray daily, my Brethren, for these two hundred and fifty thousand, and for their leaders to victory; pray for our brothers in arms; pray for the fallen; pray for those who are still engaged; pray for the recruits who are making ready for the fight to come.
Better than any other man, perhaps, do I know what our unhappy country has undergone. Nor will any Belgian, I trust, doubt of what I suffer in my soul, as a citizen and as a Bishop, in sympathy with all this sorrow. These last four months have seemed to me age-long. By thousands have our brave ones been mown down; wives, mothers are weeping for those they shall not see again; hearths are desolate; dire poverty spreads, anguish increases. At Malines, at Antwerp, the people of two great cities have been given over, the one for six hours, the other for thirty-four hours of a continuous bombardment, to the throes of death. I have passed through the greater part of the most terribly devastated districts and the ruins I beheld, and the ashes, were more dreadful than I, prepared by the saddest of forebodings, could have imagined. Other parts which I have not yet had time to visit have in like manner been laid waste. Churches, schools, asylums, hospitals, convents in great numbers, are in ruins. Entire villages have all but disappeared. At Werchter-Wackerzeel, for instance, out of three hundred and eighty homes, a hundred and thirty remain; at Tremeloo two thirds of the village are overthrown; at Bueken out of a hundred houses, twenty are standing; at Schaffen one hundred and eighty-nine houses out of two hundred are destroyed—eleven still stand. At Louvain the third part of the buildings are down; one thousand and seventy-four dwellings have disappeared; on the town land and in the suburbs, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three houses have been burnt.
In this dear city of Louvain, perpetually in my thoughts, the magnificent church of St. Peter will never recover its former splendor. The ancient college of St. Ives, the art-schools, the consular and commercial schools of the University, the old markets, our rich library with its collections, its unique and unpublished manuscripts, its archives, its gallery of great portraits of illustrious rectors, chancellors, professors, dating from the time of its foundation, which preserved for masters and students alike a noble tradition and were an incitement in their studies—all this accumulation of intellectual, of historic, and of artistic riches, the fruit of the labors of five centuries—all is reduced to dust.
Thousands of Belgian citizens have in like manner been deported to the prisons of Germany, to Münsterlagen, to Celle, to Magdeburg. At Münsterlagen alone three thousand one hundred civil prisoners were numbered. History will tell of the physical and moral torments of their long martyrdom. Hundreds of innocent men were shot. I possess no complete list, but I know that there were ninety-one shot at Aerschot, and that there, under pain of death, their fellow citizens were compelled to dig their graves. In the Louvain group of communes one hundred and seventy-six persons, men and women, old men and babies, rich and poor, in health and sickness, were shot or burnt.
In my diocese alone I know that thirteen priests were put to death. One of these, the parish priest of Gelrode, suffered, I believe, a veritable martyrdom.
We can neither number our dead nor compute the measure of our ruins. And what would it be if we turned our sad steps towards Liége, Namur, Andenne, Dinant, Tamines, Charleroi, and elsewhere?
And where lives were not taken, and where buildings were not thrown down, what anguish unrevealed! Families, hitherto living at ease, now in bitter want; all commerce at an end, all careers ruined; industry at a standstill; thousands upon thousands of workingmen without employment; working-women, shop-girls, humble servant-girls without the means of earning their bread; and poor souls forlorn on the bed of sickness and fever, crying, "O Lord, how long, how long?"
How long, O Lord, they wondered, how long wilt Thou suffer the pride of this iniquity? Or wilt Thou finally justify the impious opinion that Thou carest no more for the work of Thy hands? A shock from a thunderbolt, and behold all human foresight is set at naught. Europe trembles upon the brink of destruction.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Many are the thoughts that throng the breast of man to-day, and the chief of them all is this: God reveals Himself as the Master. The nations that made the attack, and the nations that are warring in self-defense, alike confess themselves to be in the hand of Him without whom nothing is made, nothing is done. Men long unaccustomed to prayer are turning again to God. Within the army, within the civil world, in public, and within the individual conscience, there is prayer. Nor is that prayer to-day a word learnt by rote, uttered lightly by the lip; it surges from the troubled heart, it takes the form, at the feet of God, of the very sacrifice of life.
God will save Belgium, my Brethren, you cannot doubt it.
Nay, rather, He is saving her.
Across the smoke of conflagration, across the stream of blood, have you not glimpses, do you not perceive signs, of His love for us? Is there a patriot among us who does not know that Belgium has grown great? Nay, which of us would have the heart to cancel this last page of our national history? Which of us does not exult in the brightness of the glory of this shattered nation? Let us acknowledge that we needed a lesson in patriotism. There were Belgians, and many such, who wasted their time and their talents in futile quarrels of class with class, of race with race, of passion with personal passion.
Yet when, on the second of August, a mighty foreign power, confident in its own strength and defiant of the faith of treaties, dared to threaten us in our independence, then did all Belgians, without difference of party, or of condition, or of origin, rise up as one man, [close-ranged] about their own king and their own government, and cry to the invader: "Thou shalt not pass!"
At once, instantly, we were conscious of our own patriotism. For down within us all is something deeper than personal interests, than personal kinships, than party feeling, and this is the need and the will to devote ourselves to that more general interest which Rome called the public thing, Res publica. And this profound will within us is Patriotism.
Our country is not a mere gathering of persons or of families dwelling on the same soil, having amongst themselves relations, more or less intimate, of business, of neighborhood, of a community of memories, happy or unhappy. Not so; it is an association of living souls to be defended and safeguarded at all costs, even the cost of blood, under the leadership of those presiding over its fortunes. And it is because of this general spirit that the people of a country live a common life in the present, through the past, through the aspirations, the hopes, the confidence in a life to come, which they share together. Patriotism, an internal principle of order and of unity, an organic bond of the members of a nation, was placed by the finest thinkers of Greece and Rome at the head of the natural virtues.
We may now say, my Brethren, without unworthy pride, that our little Belgium has taken a foremost place in the esteem of nations. I am aware that certain onlookers, notably in Italy and in Holland, have asked how it could be necessary to expose this country to so immense a loss of wealth and of life, and whether a verbal manifesto against hostile aggression, or a single cannon-shot on the frontier, would not have served the purpose of protest. But assuredly all men of good feeling will be with us in our rejection of these paltry counsels.
On the 19th of April, 1839, a treaty was signed in London, by King Leopold, in the name of Belgium on the one part, and by the Emperor of Austria, the King of France, the Queen of England, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of Russia on the other; and its seventh article decreed that Belgium should form a separate and perpetually neutral State, and should be held to the observance of this neutrality in regard to all other States. The signers promised, for themselves and their successors, upon their oaths, to fulfill and to observe that treaty in every point and every article. Belgium was thus bound in honor to defend her own independence. She kept her oath. The other Powers were bound to respect and to protect her neutrality. Germany violated her oath; England kept hers.
These are the facts.
The laws of conscience are sovereign laws. We should have acted unworthily had we evaded our obligation by a mere feint of resistance. And now we would not change our first resolution; we exult in it. Being called upon to write a most solemn page in the history of our country, we resolved that it should be also a sincere, also a glorious page. And as long as we are required to give proof of endurance, so long we shall endure.
All classes of our citizens have devoted their sons to the cause of their country; but the poorer part of the population have set the noblest example, for they have suffered also privation, cold, and famine. If I may judge of the general feeling from what I have witnessed in the humbler quarters of Malines, and in the most cruelly afflicted districts of my diocese, the people are energetic in their endurance. They look to be righted; they will not hear of surrender.
The sole lawful authority in Belgium is that of our King, of the elected representatives of the nation. This authority alone has a right to our affection, our submission.
Occupied provinces are not conquered provinces. Belgium is no more a German province than Galicia is a Russian province. Nevertheless the occupied portion of our country is in a position it is compelled to endure. The greater part of our towns, having surrendered to the enemy on conditions, are bound to observe those conditions. From the outset of military operations, the civil authorities of the country urged upon all private persons the necessity of avoiding hostile acts against the enemy's army. That instruction remains in force. It is our army, and our army solely, in league with the brave troops of our Allies, that has the honor and the duty of national defense. Let us intrust the army with our final deliverance.
Towards the persons of those who are holding dominion among us by military force, and who cannot but know of the energy with which we have defended, and are still defending, our independence, let us conduct ourselves with all needful forbearance. Let us observe the rules they have laid upon us so long as those rules do not violate our personal liberty, nor our consciences, nor our duty to our country. Let us not take bravado for courage, nor tumult for bravery.
Our distress has moved the other nations. England, Ireland, and Scotland; France, Holland, the United States, Canada, have vied with each other in generosity for our relief. It is a spectacle at once most mournful and most noble. Here again is a revelation of the Providential Wisdom which draws good from evil. In your name, my Brethren, and in my own, I offer to the governments and the nations that have succored us the assurance of our admiration and our gratitude.
 COPYRIGHT BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
One of the great lawyers of Belgium in behalf of the members of the bar of Brussels, Liége, Ghent, Charleroi, Mons, Louvain, and Antwerp, appeared twice before the German Court of Justice at Brussels and appealed for more just treatment of the Belgian people. In his first appeal, he protested against the illegal manner in which the Belgians were accused of crime, tried, and convicted at the pleasure of German officials. He concluded with the following eloquent words:
I can understand martial law for armies in the field. It is the immediate reply to an aggression against the troops, the quick justice of the commander of the army responsible for his soldiers. But our armies are far away; we are no longer in the zone of military operations. Nothing here threatens your troops, the inhabitants are calm.
The people have taken up work again. You have bidden them do it. Each one attends to his business—magistrates, judges, officials of the provinces and cities, the clergy, all are at their posts, united in one outburst of national interest and brotherhood.
However, this does not mean that they have forgotten. The Belgian people lived happily in their corner of the earth, confident in their dream of independence. They saw this dream dispelled; they saw their country ruined and devastated; its ancient hospitable soil has been sown with thousands of tombs where our own sleep; the war has made tears flow which no hand can dry. No, the murdered soul of Belgium will never forget.
His second appeal will be spoken by school children in Belgium, and perhaps in America, when the names of the German judges to whom he spoke are forgotten even in Germany.
We are not annexed. We are not conquered. We are not even vanquished. Our army is fighting. Our colors float alongside those of France, England, and Russia. The country subsists. She is simply unfortunate. More than ever, then, we now owe ourselves to her, body and soul. To defend her rights is also to fight for her.
We are living hours now as tragic as any country has ever known. All is destruction and ruin around us. Everywhere we see mourning. Our army has lost half of its effective forces. Its percentage in dead and wounded will never be reached by any of the belligerents. There remains to us only a corner of ground over there by the sea. The waters of the Yser flow through an immense plain peopled by the dead. It is called the Belgian Cemetery. There sleep our children by the thousands. There they are sleeping their last sleep. The struggle goes on bitterly and without mercy.
Your sons, Mr. President, are at the front; mine as well. For months we have been living in anxiety regarding the morrow.
Why these sacrifices, why this sorrow? Belgium could have avoided these disasters, saved her existence, her treasures, and the lives of her children, but she preferred her honor.
Americans are particularly interested in the story of Edith Cavell, because the American minister in Brussels on behalf of the American people asked German officials to spare her life, or at least to postpone her execution, until he might have an opportunity to see that she was properly defended. Germany's disregard of America and the wishes of the American people was clearly shown by the scornful manner in which Germany set aside as of no importance American protests and requests. Her action in this case was similar to her action earlier in regard to the Lusitania, involving in both cases direct falsehoods by representatives of the German government.
Germans wondered that the shooting of an English woman for treason should cause a sensation, just as they wondered why even their enemies did not applaud them for murdering more than a thousand non-combatants on the Lusitania. They did not realize that both of these crimes would add thousands of volunteers to the armies fighting against them, and that they would always be recorded in history as among the most despicable deeds of a civilized nation. Some one has said, "Attila and his Huns were ignorant barbarians, but the modern Huns know better and therefore they are more to be condemned."
Edith Cavell was so brave, so frank, so honest that it would seem that even to the Germans her virtues would
But not so, for German education and training have evidently made the German people look upon almost everything in a way different from that of Americans, Englishmen, and Frenchmen. And yet the common German people do at times show that they have a feeling of admiration, if not of affection, for peoples of other nations; for we are told of a German city erecting a statue to the French and English soldiers who died as captives in the German prison located there, with the inscription, To our Comrades, who here died for their Fatherland.
But we must remember that there are many kingdoms in Germany and cruel Prussia rules them all. It was Prussian savagery and barbarity that approved the massacre by the Turks of almost an entire people, the Armenians, and it was done under the eyes of German officers. The same is true of the wholesale slaughter of non-combatant Serbian men, women, and children by the Bulgarians. A word from Germany would have stopped it all.
When the war broke out, Edith Cavell was living in England with her aged mother. She felt her duty was in Belgium and she went to Brussels and established a private hospital. An American woman, Mary Boyle O'Reilly of Boston, a daughter of the poet, John Boyle O'Reilly, worked with her for a time. When Miss O'Reilly was expelled from Belgium, she begged Miss Cavell to leave that land of horror, but Miss Cavell only said, "My duty is here."
She and her nurses cared for many a wounded German soldier and this alone should have insured her fair treatment, if not gratitude, from Germany.
She was arrested, kept in solitary confinement for ten weeks without any charge being made against her; then was tried secretly for having sheltered French and Belgian soldiers who were seeking to escape to Holland.
It is probably true that Miss Cavell did this, but the history of war in modern times records no case where any one has been put to death for giving shelter for a short time to a fugitive soldier. Such an act does not, according to the custom of civilized countries, make one a spy, nor is it treason.
Those who have investigated the case carefully have come to the conclusion that the Germans decided to make a terrible example of some of the women in Brussels who were sympathizing with and perhaps helping French and Belgian soldiers to escape to Holland, for about the same time twenty-two other women were arrested on the same charge as that finally made against Edith Cavell.
When Brand Whitlock, the American minister, learned from an outsider (he could get no information from the German officials) that Edith Cavell had been condemned, he sent the following letters, one a personal one, the other an official one, to the German commandant:
My Dear Baron:
I am too ill to put my request before you in person, but once more I appeal to the generosity of your heart. Stand by and save from death this unfortunate woman. Have pity on her.
Your devoted friend,
I have just heard that Miss Cavell, a British subject, and consequently under the protection of my Legation, was this morning condemned to death by court-martial.
If my information is correct, the sentence in the present case is more severe than all the others that have been passed in similar cases which have been tried by the same Court, and, without going into the reasons for such a drastic sentence, I feel that I have the right to appeal to your Excellency's feelings of humanity and generosity in Miss Cavell's favor, and to ask that the death penalty passed on Miss Cavell may be commuted and that this unfortunate woman shall not be executed.
Miss Cavell is the head of the Brussels Surgical Institute. She has spent her life in alleviating the sufferings of others, and her school has turned out many nurses who have watched at the bedside of the sick all the world over, in Germany as in Belgium. At the beginning of the war Miss Cavell bestowed her care as freely on the German soldiers as on others. Even in default of all other reasons, her career as a servant of humanity is such as to inspire the greatest sympathy and to call for pardon. If the information in my possession is correct, Miss Cavell, far from shielding herself, has, with commendable straightforwardness, admitted the truth of all the charges against her, and it is the very information which she herself has furnished, which has aggravated the severity of the sentence passed on her.
It is then with confidence, and in the hope of its favorable reception, that I have the honor to present to your Excellency my request for pardon on Miss Cavell's behalf.
But no real attention was paid to the American notes. Edith Cavell was sentenced at five o'clock on the afternoon of October 11, and was put to death that same night.
Permission was refused to take her body for burial outside the prison. It is doubtless still buried in the prison yard unless the Germans have removed it for fear a monument may be erected above it. The English are to erect a monument in her honor in London. Dr. James M. Beck, in writing about her case, says of her burial in the prison yard, "One can say of that burial place, as Byron said of the prison cell of Chillon: 'Let none these marks efface, for they appeal from tyranny to God.'"
 COPYRIGHT BY BARSE AND HOPKINS.
But Belgium is not the only little nation that has been attacked in this war, and I make no excuse for referring to the case of the other little nation—the case of Serbia. The history of Serbia is not unblotted. What history in the list of nations is unblotted? The first nation that is without sin, let her cast a stone at Serbia—a nation trained in a horrible school. But she won her freedom with her tenacious valor, and she has maintained it by the same courage. If any Serbians were mixed up in the assassination of the Grand Duke, they ought to be punished. Serbia admits that. The Serbian Government had nothing to do with it. Not even Austria claimed that. The Serbian Prime Minister is one of the most capable and honored men in Europe. Serbia was willing to punish any one of her subjects who had been proved to have any complicity in that assassination. What more could you expect?
What were the Austrian demands? Serbia sympathized with her fellow-countrymen in Bosnia. That was one of her crimes. She must do so no more. Her newspapers were saying nasty things about Austria. They must do so no longer. That is the Austrian spirit. How dare you criticize a Prussian official? And if you laugh, it is a capital offense. Serbian newspapers must not criticize Austria. I wonder what would have happened had we taken up the same line about German newspapers. Serbia said: "Very well, we will give orders to the newspapers that they must not criticize Austria in future, neither Austria, nor Hungary, nor anything that is theirs." She promised not to sympathize with Bosnia; promised to write no critical articles about Austria. She would hold no public meetings at which anything unkind was said about Austria. That was not enough. She must dismiss from her army officers whom Austria should subsequently name. But these officers had just emerged from a war where they were adding luster to the Serbian arms—gallant, brave, efficient. I wonder whether it was their guilt or their efficiency that prompted Austria's action. Serbia was to undertake in advance to dismiss them from the army—the names to be sent in subsequently. Can you name a country in the world that would have stood that? Supposing Austria or Germany had issued an ultimatum of that kind to this country. "You must dismiss from your army and from your navy all those officers whom we shall subsequently name." Well, I think I could name them now. Lord Kitchener would go. Sir John French would be sent about his business. General Smith-Dorrien would be no more, and I am sure that Sir John Jellicoe would go. And there is another gallant old warrior who would go—Lord Roberts.
It was a difficult situation for a small country. Here was a demand made upon her by a great military power who could put five or six men in the field for every one she could; and that power supported by the greatest military power in the world. How did Serbia behave? It is not what happens to you in life that matters; it is the way in which you face it. And Serbia faced the situation with dignity. She said to Austria: "If any officers of mine have been guilty and are proved to be guilty, I will dismiss them." Austria said, "That is not good enough for me." It was not guilt she was after, but capacity.
Then came Russia's turn. Russia has a special regard for Serbia. She has a special interest in Serbia. Russians have shed their blood for Serbian independence many a time. Serbia is a member of her family, and she cannot see Serbia maltreated. Austria knew that. Germany knew that, and Germany turned around to Russia and said: "I insist that you shall stand by with your arms folded whilst Austria is strangling your little brother to death." What answer did the Russian Slav give? He gave the only answer that becomes a man. He turned to Austria and said: "You lay hands on that little fellow and I will tear your ramshackle empire limb from limb."
David Lloyd George, 1914.
Captain Charles Fryatt was in command of a British steamship named Brussels, running from Tilbury, England, to the Hook of Holland. His ship was hailed in 1915 by a German submarine and ordered to stop.
A torpedo costs several thousand dollars, therefore a submarine saves one whenever she can sink a ship by some other means. Also a submarine can carry but few torpedoes, so by saving them she can remain longer at sea and at her work of destruction.
Captain Fryatt was well aware that if he came to a stop, the Germans would board his ship and sink her by bombs, or would order the passengers off and sink her by shells from the guns. This is the way they sank the Carolina off the coast of New Jersey, leaving the passengers in open boats—many of whom died from exposure and by the capsizing of one boat in the tempest which struck them at midnight.
Captain Fryatt knew that by the laws of nations he had the right to defend his ship, so instead of stopping as the Germans ordered him to do, he put on full speed and turned the head of his ship towards the submarine, hoping to ram her and sink her. He was obeying instructions from his government, and was doing nothing but what he had a perfect right to do according to international law.
He did not succeed, but he gained time and forced the submarine to submerge, for British destroyers were coming up in answer to his wireless call.
For his bravery, the British Government rewarded him by giving him a gold watch and naming him with praise in the House of Commons.
More than a year later, on June 23, 1916, German warships out on a raid captured the Brussels, which Captain Fryatt still commanded. He was taken to Bruges, Belgium, and put on trial for his life. The Germans claimed his case was like that of a non-combatant on land who fired upon the soldiers. They found him guilty on June 27 and sentenced him to be shot, for having attempted to sink the submarine, U-33, by ramming it. They laid much emphasis on the fact that the British Government had rewarded him, although this really had nothing to do with whether or not he had a right to defend his ship.
The United States was not then at war with Germany, and the diplomatic affairs of England were in charge of the United States Ambassador in Berlin. When Ambassador Gerard learned that Captain Fryatt had been captured and taken to Bruges for trial, he sent two notes to the proper German officials, demanding the right to visit Captain Fryatt and to secure counsel for him.
The German officials acknowledged his notes and assured him that they would take the necessary steps to meet his request.
But the morning of the day after Ambassador Gerard sent his notes, Captain Fryatt was tried and sentenced, and was shot in the afternoon of the same day. As in the case of Edith Cavell, Germany's answer to America was a lie, and a scornful carrying out of her illegal purpose before the American Ambassador could do anything more. She acted in exactly the same way in connection with the Lusitania, and with all her submarine warfare, or piracy, as it really is according to international law.
One of the leading German writers on international law says, "The merchant ship has the right of self-defense against an enemy attack, and this right it can exercise against visit, for this is indeed the first act of capture."
Germany knew she had no right to shoot Captain Fryatt, and she did not want her right challenged at his trial; so she did not allow the American Ambassador to see him and to secure counsel for him.
She desired to make him an example of German "frightfulness" as she had in the case of Edith Cavell and of the Lusitania. She thought this would prevent other British vessels trying to ram her submarines.
The whole world is wondering if Germany would cower under "frightfulness," and therefore believes other peoples will. Her policy certainly has never had the effect that she hoped it would. It has simply made her enemies fight all the harder and dare all the more, because they remember her inhuman acts and unlawful deeds.
The Germans published the following notice of the trial and execution:
On Thursday at Bruges before the Court Martial of the Marine Corps, the trial took place of Captain Fryatt, of the British steamer Brussels, which was brought in as a prize. The accused was condemned to death because, although he was not a member of a combatant force, he made an attempt, on the afternoon of March 28, 1915, to ram the German submarine, U-33, near the Maas Lightship.
The accused received at the time from the British Admiralty a gold watch as a reward for his brave conduct on that occasion, and his action was mentioned with praise in the House of Commons.
On the occasion in question, disregarding the U-boat's signal to stop and show his national flag, he turned at a critical moment at high speed against the submarine, which escaped the steamer by a few metres only because of swiftly diving. He confessed that in so doing he had acted in accordance with the instructions of the Admiralty. The sentence was confirmed yesterday afternoon and carried out by shooting.
This is one of the many nefarious franc-tireur proceedings of the British merchant marine against our war vessels, and it has found a belated but merited expiation.
The civilized nations of the world, in which we do not include Germany and her allies, have agreed that the execution of Captain Fryatt was a murder. Possibly the Germans also know it, but defend it as they did the invasion of Belgium, as "necessary" to German victory.
History will forever record it as an example of the black deeds done by desperate men who care only to accomplish their selfish ends, and will explain how these evil deeds of horror and of terror have injured those who committed them more than those who suffered from them.
On the very day of the execution of Captain Fryatt, the British passenger liner Falaba was torpedoed and sunk without warning. She sank in eight minutes carrying with her one hundred and four men, women, and children, who were "not members of a combatant force."
Among the losses that the World War has caused—many of them losses that can never be made good—is that of the promising young English poet, Rupert Brooke.
He was a fine type in mind and body. His father was a teacher in the great English school at Rugby, and here the boy learned to write, and to play cricket, tennis, and football. He was interested in every form of athletics and was strong and skillful at all. He was a great walker and a fine diver and swimmer. He was said to have been one of the handsomest Englishmen of his day, tall, broad, easy, and graceful in his movements, with steady blue eyes, and a wavy mass of fair hair.
He had traveled much in France, Germany, Italy, the United States, Canada, and the South Seas, where he visited Stevenson's home in Samoa. Of all lands, however, he loved England best.
When the war broke out, Brooke said, "Well, if Armageddon's on, I suppose I should be there." He enlisted, was commissioned as lieutenant, and was sent almost immediately with the English forces to relieve Antwerp, at that time besieged by the Germans. This experience, lying day after day in trenches under German fire, followed by the terrible retreat by night with the thousands of Belgians who had lost everything except their lives, changed the careless, happy youth into a man. He was but twenty-seven years old when he enlisted. He wrote but little poetry after his enlistment, but it is all of a finer, more spiritual quality than any of his previous work.
He spent the following winter training in England, and then joined the British Expeditionary Forces for the Dardanelles. He never reached there, however, for he died at Scyros on April 23, 1915, and was buried by torchlight at night, in an olive grove on the island.
One of his friends, Wilfred Gibson, has paid a beautiful tribute to him in a short poem entitled "The Going." It is a tribute that might well be offered to any of the thousands of young heroes from many lands who have gone with a sudden glory in their young eyes to give all, that human liberty should not be lost.
Death appeared to be in his mind constantly after his terrible experience at Antwerp, but he seems never to have feared it. It is really the subject of all of his five sonnets written in 1914, and these are the best of his work. He thought constantly of England and of all that she had done for him and meant to him. He thought also of the little meaningful things of life, and put them into these sonnets—dawn, sunset, the beautiful colors of the earth, music, flowers, the feel of furs, and the touch of a cheek. Strange that he should have thought of the touching of fur. It probably gave him a strange sensation as it does to many. And then he thought of water and its movement in the wind, and its warmth under the sun, which seemed to him like life, just as its freezing under the frost seemed to him like death. All of this and more he put into a beautiful sonnet entitled "The Dead."
Note how significant is every human experience which he mentions from "the quick stir of wonder" which the youth feels, to the kindness which comes with years. "They had seen movement" is strange, and yet many like Rupert Brooke are fascinated with movement and see life chiefly in motion,—in smiles and steps.
His finest poem, however, is the last of the five sonnets and is entitled "The Soldier." Here he pours out his heart in love of England and in the pride that he feels in being an Englishman. Read France or America or some other worthy homeland in place of England and it will appeal to other hearts beside Englishmen. It is a beautiful poem, one that will live forever.
One of our American poets, George Edward Woodberry, has beautifully said:
There is a grave in Scyros, amid the white and pinkish marble of the isle, the wild thyme and the poppies, near the green and blue waters. There Rupert Brooke was buried. Thither have gone the thoughts of his countrymen, and the hearts of the young especially. It will long be so. For a new star shines in the English heavens.
 BASED ON "THE COLLECTED POEMS OF RUPERT BROOKE," COPYRIGHT BY JOHN LANE COMPANY.
At 12:20 noon, on Saturday, May 1, 1915, there steamed out of New York harbor one of the largest and fastest passenger ships in the world. It was the Lusitania, flying the British flag, and bound for Europe, via Liverpool. On board were nearly two thousand men, women, and children. They were not overcrowded, however, for the Lusitania was the finest, the most comfortable of ocean boats. It was more than an eighth of a mile in length, 88 feet in width, and 60 feet in depth, and had a speed of nearly 30 miles an hour.
Her passengers, once out from shore, settled down to seven days of life in this immense, floating hotel. Tiny babies toddled across the smooth, shining floors of the new home, or watched with gurgles of delight the older children rollicking and romping over the decks. The women chatted and sang, and played all sorts of games. The men, too, engaged in many contests, athletic stunts, and games. At night, when the little ones were quietly sleeping in their bunks, their elders gathered in the grand saloon and there listened to some fine singer, a famous violinist, or a great lecturer.
Copyright by Underwood & Underwood, N.Y.
The Lusitania in New York Harbor
So the days passed, the people living as one great family. New friendships grew, and many delightful acquaintances were formed. The complete harmony and restfulness of such a life, the clear skies and sunshine, and the vast expanse of blue-green ocean, all made them forget that they were riding into a region of horror and war.
For nearly ten months Belgium, England, France, and Russia had been waging war against Germany. Around England's coasts lurked the horrors of the German submarine. The travelers on the morning of sailing had read the warning against crossing. It has since been called the "Death Notice." It read:
Travelers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain or any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters; and that travelers sailing in the war zone on ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.
Imperial German Embassy.
Washington, D.C., April 22, 1915.
It had been printed in the newspapers beside the advertisement of the sailing of the Lusitania, and was posted that very morning by order of Count von Bernstorff, German ambassador to the United States. But most of the travelers paid no attention to the notice after reading it, for they were sure that no implement of war would be turned against a passenger ship. With stout hearts, many of the travelers said, "We are Americans. No country will refuse respect and protection for an American citizen in any part of the world." Or they said, "We are British citizens,—not soldiers. We are on a merchant vessel—not a battleship. Surely our rights will be respected. We cross under necessity."
So they dared to exercise their freedom and their rights when they boarded the steamer for this return trip.
After sailing for five days in safety, they came at last within sight of land. Early on Friday morning a heavy fog had lowered, but the ship continued to plow steadily through the tranquil waters. Toward noon the fog lifted and the sunshine and blue sky came to view, contributing to the full enjoyment of the travelers.
They had just finished luncheon. Some were quietly writing letters—others playing games. Many had strolled to the upper decks. They greeted their new acquaintances, regretting that they were so soon to part, for they were now but ten or fifteen miles out from shore off "Old Head of Kinsale," and within a few hours all would land, going on their separate ways for the rest of the journey. Though they were nearing a world at war, all seemed peaceful.
The ship's clock pointed at two, when a few men standing on deck saw what looked like a whale rising from the water about three quarters of a mile away. They saw it speeding toward them, and suddenly they knew what it was; but no one named it, until with a train of bubbles it disappeared under the ship, and they cried, "It's a torpedo!"
With a fearful explosion, the center of the ship was blown up through the decks, making a great heap of wreckage. The passengers fled from the lower to the upper decks, many of them not stopping for life preservers. Some of those who did strap on the life preservers did not put them on correctly. Many leaped into the water, trusting to be picked up by a passing boat. Although every one was terribly frightened, yet there seemed to be no panic. The men lowered the lifeboats, which were crowded to the full. As many as seventy or eighty people, it is said, were packed into one small boat.
Leslie N. Morton, a mere lad, has been officially named as bravest of the crew. He was stationed on the starboard side, keeping look-out, when the torpedo struck. He, with the assistance of his mate, rowed a lifeboat for some miles, put the people on a fishing smack, and returned again for other survivors, rescuing in all nearly a hundred.
There were many acts of heroism among the passengers, but in all of the distress one young man stood out among the hundreds upon the ship. Alfred G. Vanderbilt, a young American millionaire, quickly realizing that the steamer was sinking, turned to his valet and cried, "Let us save the kiddies!" The two sprang to the rescue of the babies and small children, carrying two of the little ones in their arms at a time and placing them carefully in the lifeboats with their mothers. Mr. Vanderbilt and his valet continued their efforts to the very last. When they could find no more children, they turned to the assistance of the women that were left. When last seen, Mr. Vanderbilt was smilingly, almost happily, lending his aid to the passengers who still remained on deck.
The whole civilized world honors the memory of this brave youth, who gave his life in serving helpless women and children. Gratifying indeed it is to know that the little ones were cared for, though sad to learn that even then only twenty-five of the hundred and twenty-nine babies on board were saved. About one hundred children were innocent victims of that dastardly deed which the Germans, through savage desire to terrorize, became brutes enough to do.
Elbert Hubbard, a noted American writer, and his wife went down with the ship. Charles Frohman, a leading producer of plays, was another prominent American lost. He has been cited as the finest example of faith and calm strength, for, realizing that there was little hope for him, he smilingly remarked, "Why fear death? It is the most beautiful adventure that life gives us."
In less than twenty minutes after the torpedo struck, nothing except floating pieces of wreckage strewn on the disturbed surface of the water marked the place of the great calamity.
The wireless operator had sent the S.O.S. signal of distress several times, and also had time to send the message, "Come at once, big list, 10 miles south of 'Old Head of Kinsale.'" He had received answers before his apparatus was put out of use, and soon trawlers and pilot boats came to the rescue and brought to shore those who had survived. The cold ocean water, however, had made many so numb that they were unable to help themselves enough to be lifted into the lifeboats, even when the life preservers had kept them afloat. Of the 159 Americans on board, 124 perished. In all, only 761 people were saved; 1198 perished.
That day the terrible news came over the cable to America,—the great passenger steamer Lusitania had been torpedoed by a German submarine; probably a thousand lives had been lost, among them many Americans!
At the White House, the President realized the awful import of such a message.
In a day or so, nearly two thousand telegrams poured in from all parts of the country; and it is said that the President read them all, for he wanted to know how the individual American felt.
The Germans offered all sorts of excuses for their cruel deed. A German paper printed the following:
Must we not, we who may be defeated by starvation and by lack of war materials, must we not defend ourselves from this great danger (with which the enemy's blockade threatens us), with all our might and with all the means that the German spirit can invent, and which the honor of the German people recognizes as lawful weapons? Have those, who now raise such outcries, any right to accuse us, those who allowed their friends and relatives to trust themselves on a ship whose destruction was announced with perfect clearness in advance? When our enemy's blockade method forces us to measures in self-defense, the death of non-combatants is a matter of no consequence.
A blockade of an enemy's ports is, and always has been, a perfectly fair kind of warfare. In our Civil War, the southern ports were, from the beginning, blockaded by the northern warships. Germany was in no danger of starving, as the events since have proved. Her excuses were, as they have been in every case where she has played the part of the brute, worse than no excuses and always based on falsehoods.
"The steamer carried ammunition for England," they said. But it was bought and carried in accordance with international law. Germany had the same right to buy and carry from a neutral country. "It was a British ship," they said. But it was a passenger ship and carried nearly two thousand people, many of them Americans, who, according to all international agreements, were guaranteed safe passage even in time of war.
All nations recognize the obligation of an enemy to visit and search the vessel they think should be sunk, to make sure it carries contraband of war, and if so, to give the people an opportunity to get safely into the lifeboats. Not only did the Germans not do this, but they did not even signal the ship that it was about to be sunk. The newspaper warning put out by Bernstorff was no excuse for committing an unlawful, inhuman act.
From all points of view, the Germans, in sinking the Lusitania, committed a horrible crime, not only against international law, but against humanity and civilization. In all war, armed forces meet armed forces; never do armed forces strangle and butcher the innocent and unprotected. There is such a thing as legitimate warfare, except among barbarians.
Here again was shown the German attitude in the "scrap of paper." Evidently trusting to the great distance of the United States and her well-known unpreparedness, Germany thought that a friendly relation with this country was a matter of entire indifference to her; or, if she hoped to draw America into the war, she little dreamed to what end those hopes would come!
Around the world one verdict was pronounced against Germany. This verdict was well worded in a Russian paper, the Courier:
The right to punish these criminals who violate the laws of humanity belongs first and foremost to the great American Republic. America knows well how to use this right. The sympathy of the civilized world is guaranteed her beforehand. The world is being suffocated by poisonous gases of inhuman cruelty spread abroad by Germany, who, in the madness of her rage, is committing needless, purposeless, and senseless murder, solely from lust of blood and horrors!
The American government, upon the occurrence of the calamity, showed great forbearance, believing that "a man of proved temper and tried courage is not always bound to return a madman's blow." A strong protest was sent to the Imperial German Government, which caused Germany to abandon for a time her submarine attacks upon neutral vessels. It was the renewal of these attacks that finally led to the declaration of war by the United States of America upon Germany and her allies, and it was the Lusitania outrage more than any other one event that roused the fighting spirit of America.
Sometimes a retreat is in reality a great victory. It has been said that it requires a greater general to direct successfully a great retreat than it does to direct a great attack.
Some marvelous retreats have occurred in the World War, the greatest coming at its very beginning, when the English and French fell back to save Paris and to defeat the Germans at the Marne. This retreat was really a series of battles, day after day, with terrible losses on both sides.
An English private in the Black Watch, named Walter Morton, only nineteen years of age, described for the Scotsmen one of these battles in which his regiment and the Scots Greys made a magnificent charge. His story was as follows:
We went straight from Boulogne to Mons, being one of the first British regiments to reach that place. Neither army seemed to have a very good position there, but the numbers of the Germans were far too great to give us any chance of success. We were hard at it all day on Monday; and on Tuesday, as the French reinforcements which we had been expecting did not arrive, the order was given to retire.
In our retreat we marched close upon eighty miles. We passed through Cambrai, and a halt was called at St. Quentin. The Germans, in their mad rush to get to Paris, had seldom been far behind us, and when we came to St. Quentin the word went through the ranks that we were going into action. The men were quite jubilant at the prospect. They had not been at all pleased at their continued retirement before the enemy, and they at once started to get things ready. The engagement opened briskly, both our artillery and the Germans going at it for all they were worth. We were in good skirmishing order, and under the cover of our guns we were all the time getting nearer and nearer the enemy. When we had come to within 100 yards of the German lines, the commands were issued for a charge, and the Black Watch made the charge along with the Scots Greys. Not far from us the 9th Lancers and the Cameronians joined in the attack.
It was the finest thing I ever saw. The Scots Greys galloped forward with us hanging on to their stirrups, and it was a sight never to be forgotten. We were simply being dragged by the horses as they flew forward through a perfect cloud of bullets from the enemy's maxims. All other sounds were drowned by the thunder of the horses' hoofs as they careered wildly on, some of them nearly driven mad by the bullets which struck them. It was no time for much thinking. Saddles were being emptied quickly, as we closed on the German lines and tore past their maxims, which were in the front ranks.
We were on the German gunners before they knew where they were, and many of them went down, scarcely realizing that we were amongst them. Then the fray commenced in deadly earnest. The Black Watch and the Scots Greys went into it like men possessed. They fought like demons. It was our bayonets against the Germans' swords. You could see nothing but the glint of steel, and soon even that was wanting as our boys got well into the midst of the enemy. The swords of the Germans were no use against our bayonets. They went down in hundreds.
Then the enemy began to waver, and soon broke and fled before the bayonets, like rabbits before the shot of a gun.
There were about 1900 of us in that charge against 20,000 Germans, and the charge itself lasted about four hours. We took close upon 4000 prisoners, and captured a lot of their guns. In the course of the fighting I got a cut from a German sword—they are very much like saws—and fell into a pool of water, where I lay unconscious for twenty-three hours. I was picked up by one of the 9th Lancers.
At Marathon (490 B.C.) and at Salamis (480 B.C.) the Greeks defeated the Persians and saved Europe for western civilization. Had the Persians won, the history of Europe and of the world would be the story of the civilization of the East instead of that of the West.
At Tours (732 A.D.) Charles Martel defeated the forces of the Mohammedans, who had already conquered Spain, and saved Europe for Christianity.
At the Marne (1914 and 1918) the French, the English, and (in the second battle) the Americans, defeated the modern Huns and saved Europe for democracy and from the rule of merciless brute force. The First Battle of the Marne has been called the sixteenth decisive battle of the world.
Before the First Battle of the Marne, September 5 to 10, 1914, the German military machine had been winning, as never an army had won before in the entire recorded history of the world. Its path had been one of treachery, of atrocities, of savagery, but one of tremendous and unparalleled victory. The Germans at home called it "the great times."
Brave little Belgium had been able to hold back the German hordes but for a short time at Liége and Namur, but, as future events proved, long enough to make possible the decisive battles at the Marne. The Germans had taken Brussels and Antwerp, had destroyed Louvain, had filled themselves with outrage and murder, had drunk of blood and wine and success until they were thoroughly intoxicated with the belief so common to drunken brutes that no men in the world can stand against them. The little Belgian army, "the contemptible little English army" (as the Kaiser called it), and the magnificent French army had been retreating day by day almost as fast as the Germans could advance. Soon Paris and then all of France would be in German hands—and what a glorious time they would have in the gayest and most beautiful capital of the world. Although bodies of German cavalry raided the coast, the German leaders, elated and intoxicated with thoughts of rich plunder and dissipation, did not turn aside in force to follow the Belgian army and to take the Channel ports of Dunkirk, Calais, and Boulogne, but pushed on toward Paris. The French government, expecting a siege of the city, moved to Bordeaux.
The main forces of the Germans had turned south from the coast towards Paris with General von Kluck's army of about 200,000 men at the right or west of the German line of advance. General von Kluck was attempting to outflank the English army, that is, to throw part of his forces around the extreme western end of the English army, which had to keep retiring rapidly to avoid being encircled. The French army was obliged to fall back to keep in touch with the British.
The English retired nearly one hundred miles without losing their cheerfulness or their confidence. It was this turning movement on the left that forced all the allies to retire. An English writer who was with the army said that though the Germans constantly attacked with reckless courage, yet the British and French retired slowly with their faces to the foe, and showing the greatest heroism. The numbers of the Germans were greater than those of the Allies, and the Germans gave them no rest. Night and day they hammered away, coming on like great waves. The gaps the English made were filled instantly. The German guns played upon the Allies constantly. Their cavalry swept down upon them recklessly. If the English had great losses, the Germans had greater. The English fought with cool bravery. They never wavered an instant. But the pressure upon them could not be resisted. Column after column, squadron after squadron, mass after mass, the enemy came on like a battering ram, crushing everything in its way. They swarmed on all sides, even though shattered by shot and shell. Nothing but the steadfast courage, the sheer pluck, the spirit, the soul of the English soldiers saved the army from complete destruction.
"The enemy hung on to us like grim death," said a wounded soldier. "They wanted us to retreat in a direction that would best suit their plans. But we were not taking marching orders from them. We went our own way at our own pace. We were retiring, not retreating."
Then on the fifth of September came General Joffre's appeal to the defenders of civilization, and particularly to the French soldiers: "The hour has come to hold our positions at any cost and to fight rather than to retreat.... No longer must we look at the enemy over our shoulders, for the time has come to put forth all our efforts in attacking and defeating him."
A French writer has said of the retreat, which by order of General Joffre had now come to an end, "Their bodies retreated, but never their souls;" and he might have added of the German advance, "It was an advance of bodies, not of souls." It was material might in men and guns forcing back an army weaker in everything except soul and spirit. The World War has shown over and over again, not only at the Marne but at a hundred other places and in a hundred other ways, that soul and spirit are the real conquerors and that God is not always, as Napoleon said, on the side of the larger battalions.
The Germans had come on flushed with success and egotism, destroying French property, looting, and dissipating. Their spirit was the spirit they found in the French wine cellars, and as for soul, as civilized people understand the word, they had none. They were an army of tired, conquering brutes. Their morale was low because of their great success and all that had accompanied it of feasts and slaughter. The morale of the French was never higher. Every day and every hour they had been compelled to retreat, giving up, giving up all that they loved even better than life itself to these brutes, until the brain of the French army said on the evening of September 5, 1914, "You have gone so far in order that you may now stand successfully." And in the morning at dawn, it was not only the bodies of the French soldiers that hurled themselves against the invaders, but the souls of French men, the soul of France; and all along the line from Verdun to Meaux, under the gallant leadership of Manoury, Foch, Sarrail, Castelnau, and others, the French armies held. If they had not held—not only held but attacked—all of future history would be different.
General Foch, commander in chief at the Second Battle of the Marne, inspired his troops in this first battle to supernatural bravery. He knew they must not yield, so with his right broken, his left shattered, he attacked with his center. It was that or retreat. His message to the commander-in-chief, General Joffre, will never be forgotten.
"My left has been forced back, my right is routed. I shall attack with the center."
The Germans could not put their souls into the battles as the French soldiers did, and besides, the Germans were weakened by feasting and dissipation. With the Huns it was the right of might; with the Allies it was the might of right, and in the end the second always defeats the first.
Some one has well said:
"It is the law of good to protect and to build up. It is the law of evil to destroy. It is in the very nature of good to lead men aright. It is in the very nature of evil to lead men astray. Goodness makes for wisdom. Badness is continually exercising poor judgment.
"Germany and Austria have made colossal mistakes in this war because of their colossal violation of truth and justice. In brutally wronging Serbia, they lost the friendship and support of Italy. In perpetrating the monstrous crime against Belgium, they brought against them the whole might of the British Empire. In breaking international law with their reckless submarine warfare, they caused the United States to enter the war on the side of the Allies."
It is said that the army of the German Crown Prince retreated before the impetuous attack of the French and, because of this retreat, all the other German armies were obliged to do likewise. It is more probable, however, that the general retreat was due to General Joffre's strategy. The Germans under General von Kluck were within about twenty miles of Paris, near Meaux on the Marne, when suddenly they were struck in the flank and rear by about twenty thousand fresh troops brought out unexpectedly from Paris in motor trucks, taxis, limousines, and all kinds of pleasure cars. Now the Germans, who had caused the retreat of the French and British armies upon Paris by continually outflanking the British, were in their turn outflanked and compelled to retreat, and Paris was saved.
An English writer has said that although the Germans were outflanked only in the west, yet the blow passed from one end of the German line to the other, from Meaux to Verdun, just as the blow from the buffer of the engine, when it is coupled to the train, passes from one truck to another to the very end of the train.
The Germans in the next few days retreated from the Marne to the Aisne, where they entrenched. Paris and France and Europe and the only world worth living in were saved. The French government moved back to Paris.
Hall Caine in "Three Hundred and Sixty-five Days" says: "The soul of France did not fail her. It heard the second approach of that monstrous Prussian horde, which, like a broad, irresistible tide, sweeping across one half of Europe, came down, down, down from Mons until the thunder of its guns could again be heard on the boulevards. And then came the great miracle! Just as the sea itself can rise no higher when it has reached the top of the flood, so the mighty army of Germany had to stop its advance thirty kilometres north of Paris; and when it stirred again, it had to go back. And back and back it went before the armies of France, Britain, and Belgium, until it reached a point at which it could dig itself into the earth and hide in a long, serpentine trench stretching from the Alps to the sea.
"Only then did the spirit of France draw breath for a moment, and the next flash as of lightning showed her offering thanks and making supplications before the white statue of Jeanne d'Arc in the apse of the great cathedral of Notre Dame, sacred to innumerable memories. On the Feast of St. Michael, ten thousand of the women of Paris were kneeling under the dark vault, and on the broad space in the front of the majestic façade, praying for victory. It was a great and grandiose scene, recalling the days when faith was strong and purer. Old and young, rich and poor, every woman with some soul that was dear to her in that inferno at the front—the Motherhood of France was there to ask God for the triumph of the right.
"And in the spirit of that prayer the soul of France still lives."
Nearly four years later the Germans, with greatly increased forces in France, due to the collapse of Russia, were again upon the Marne and only about forty miles from Paris. French and English and Americans were opposing them upon a line shaped like a great letter U, extending south with Rheims at the top on the east, and Soissons at the top on the west. The Marne River was at the curve at the bottom, and there most of the Americans were stationed.
On July 15, 1918, the Germans began the offensive which was to result, as they hoped, in the capture of Paris. They attacked on the Marne and between the Marne and Rheims. At the end of the fourth day, they had advanced about six miles, crossing the Marne and pushing back the American troops. The Americans fought bravely and soon regained the ground they had lost, although the French generals suggested that they should not attempt to retake it. The American commander, however, sent word to the French general, who was his superior officer, saying that he did not feel able to follow the suggestion, for the American flag had been compelled to retire. None of his soldiers, he said, would understand this being allowed as long as they were able to attack. "We are going to counter-attack," he added. They did so, and regained all the ground lost.
It is clear now that the French generals knew the counter-attack was unnecessary, and knew why. West of the line from Soissons to the Marne is a great forest, and back of this General Foch, commander in chief of all the allied armies, had been for several days gathering guns, ammunition, tanks, and troops ready to strike the flank of the Germans, when they should attack between Rheims and the Marne and attempt to cross the Marne, as he knew they would in their desire to take Paris. A terrible tempest passed over the region just before the Allied attack, preventing the Germans from observing the advancing tanks and troops. An English writer has said, "The storm which had covered the noise of the final preparation of a number of tanks which led the assault, was over. Not a sound was heard in the forest, though it was teeming with men and horses. Then suddenly the appointed moment came when day broke. There was a roar from all the guns, the whole front broke into activity as men and tanks dashed forward. I suppose there has been nothing more dramatic in the whole war than this scene on which the general looked down from the top of a high perch in the forest on that quiet July morning!"
The Allies struck so unexpectedly that they captured hundreds of guns and thousands of prisoners, and obliged the Germans to fall back across the Marne, losing all the territory they had gained and much more. The danger to Paris was again turned aside by the military genius of General Foch and the bravery of the troops under his command.
It was the first great battle in which the Americans took part. They showed themselves equal to the best of the Allies, and better than the Germans. A London paper called the American counter-attack one of the historical incidents of the whole war. All Europe, except Hunland, rang with praises of the American troops.
In the history of the World War, most of the great land battles will be named from rivers, the Marne, the Yser, the Somme, the Aisne, the Ailette, the Ancre, the Bug, the Dneister, the Dunajec and the Piave. A battle of the Rhine will probably be fought before German territory can be invaded to any great extent.
On July 25, 1918, nearly every person in Washington, the capital of the United States, was asked to buy a bunch of forget-me-nots; and nearly every one responded, so that almost $7000 worth was sold in about an hour. In many other cities sales were held, and for many years to come such sales will be held all over the civilized world, for the forget-me-not is the Queen's flower, chosen by Elizabeth, Queen of Belgium, to be sold on her birthday, July 25, to raise money for the children of Belgium. She is a lover of flowers as are all the people of her country. Many parts of Belgium were before the war, like Holland, devoted to raising flowers for bulbs and seeds. It is said that the garden at the Belgian Royal Palace was the most beautiful garden in the world.
For many years it has been the Queen's custom to name a flower to be sold on her birthday for the benefit of some good cause. In 1910 she named the La France rose to be sold for the benefit of sufferers from tuberculosis in Belgium. Nearly $100,000 was raised on this one day.
The war has not done away with the beautiful custom, and on the Queen's birthday in 1918, she named a flower to be sold to raise money to help care for the children of Belgium. She chose the forget-me-not, for the Queen can never forget the terrible sacrifice her country was called upon to make, nor the brutal manner in which the Huns used their power.
Those who have carefully studied the facts have concluded that the Huns coolly and deliberately planned to destroy Belgium as a country and a people, not only during the war but forever. It was to carry out this plan that the villages and cities were burned or bombarded until they were nothing but heaps of stone and ashes; that much of the machinery was either destroyed or carried into Germany; that the Belgian boys and men were herded together and deported into Germany to work as slaves; and that the Belgian babies were neglected, starved, and murdered. If only the old and feeble were left at the end of the war, there could be no Belgium to compete with Germany, and Germany desired this whether she should win or lose.
America has done much to relieve the suffering of the Belgian people. Germany saw to it, however, that the babies and very young children were neglected as far as possible, with the exception of healthy Belgian boy babies, and many of these she snatched from their parents and carried into Germany to be raised as Huns. It has been said that no horror of the war equaled the horror of what Germany did to Belgian childhood.
Queen Elizabeth realized the danger and did everything in her power to protect and help the babies of Belgium. Although she is by birth a German princess, she wishes never to forget and that the world may never forget the great wrong done her country. In naming the forget-me-not she meant that Belgium's wrong should never be forgotten, and that the children of Belgium should not be forgotten.
The flower is to be sold for the benefit of Belgian children at all times and in all countries, for the Queen has said she will never name another.
The little blue forget-me-not will be sold all over the civilized world, that means except in Hunland, and wherever it is sold Belgium's story will be remembered. All that is sweet and beautiful and pure is connecting itself in the minds and hearts of men with Belgium in her sacrifice and suffering; and as long as history is recorded and remembered, the word "Belgium" will awaken these feelings in those who read. This is a part of her reward, just as the opposite is a part of the punishment of the Hun.
The boys and girls in America have listened with great interest and sympathy to the many stories of children in devastated France, left fatherless, homeless, perhaps motherless, with no games or sport, indeed with no desire to play games or sports of any kind. For them, there seemed to be only the awful roar and thunder of the cannon, which might at any moment send down a bursting shell upon their heads. The clothes they wore and the food they ate were theirs only as they were given to them, and so often given by strangers.
In America the school children worked, earned, saved, and sent their gifts to those thousands of destitute children, and with their gifts sent letters of love and interest to their little French cousins across the seas.
Many of the letters were written in quiet, sunny schoolrooms, thousands of miles from the noise of battle. But many a letter thus written reached the hands of a child who sat huddled beside his teacher in a damp, dark cellar that took the place of the pleasant little schoolhouse he had known.
But in those cellars and hidden places, the children studied and learned as best they might, in order some day to be strong, bright men and women for their beloved France, when the days of battle should be over and victory should have been won for them to keep.
The gladness of the children when they received the letters will probably never be fully known. Perhaps it seemed to some of them like that morning on which they marched away from the school building for the last time. The shells had begun to burst near them, as they sat in the morning session. Quickly they put aside their work, and listened quietly while the master timed the interval between the bursting of the shells. At his order, they had formed in line for marching, and at the moment the third or fourth shell fell, they marched out of the school away into a cellar seventy paces off. There, sheltered by the strong, stout walls, they listened to the next shell bursting as it fell straight down into the schoolhouse, where by a few moments' delay, they would all have perished or been severely injured.
So, while they heard the cannon roaring, they were happy to know that their friends in America thought of them and were helping them. No one will ever realize just how much it meant to the French people to know that America was their friend, or the great joy they felt when the American soldiers marched in to take their places in the fight for France and the freedom of the world.
Odette Gastinel, a thirteen-year-old girl of the Lycée Victor Duruy, one of the schoolrooms near the front, has written of the coming of the Americans. Throughout the United States her little essay has been read, and great men and women have marveled at its beauty of thought and wording, and have called it a little masterpiece.
In the first paragraph, she tells of the great distance between the millions of men (the Germans and the Allies) although separated only by a narrow stream; and in the second, she speaks of the closeness of sympathy between France and America,—though America lies three thousand miles over the sea.
It was only a little river, almost a brook; it was called the Yser. One could talk from one side to the other without raising one's voice, and the birds could fly over it with one sweep of their wings. And on the two banks there were millions of men, the one turned toward the other, eye to eye. But the distance which separated them was greater than the spaces between the stars in the sky; it was the distance which separates right from injustice.
The ocean is so vast that the sea gulls do not dare to cross it. During seven days and seven nights the great steamships of America, going at full speed, drive through the deep waters before the lighthouses of France come into view; but from one side to the other, hearts are touching.
It is no wonder that the great American, General Pershing, stopped, in all the tumult and business of war, to write to people in America:
The history of Rome about 1500 years ago tells us of "the wild and terrifying hordes" of Huns, with ideas little above those of plunder and wanton destruction, led by Attila whose "purpose was to pillage and increase his power." They came near setting civilization back for hundreds of years, but were finally subdued. When we remember these facts, we do not wonder that the Germans are called, and probably always will be called, Huns; but another explanation is the true one.
When in 1900, a German army was embarking at Bremerhaven for China to help other nations to put down the Boxer rebellion, the German Kaiser, William II, in addressing his troops said: "When you come upon the enemy, no quarter will be given, no prisoners will be taken. As the Huns under their King Attila, a thousand years ago, made a name for themselves which is still mighty in tradition and story, so may the name of German in China be kept alive through you in such a wise that no Chinese will ever again attempt to look askance at a German."
The United States helped put down the Boxer rebellion, and with other nations was paid an indemnity by China. By vote of Congress, the United States returned the money to China. Germany acted very differently, for but three years before, she had seized from China the land about Kiaochau Bay and the port of Tsingchau, as reparation for the murder of two German missionaries. Although Germany had strongly fortified this territory, Japan besieged it and regained it in November, 1914.
In speaking in 1901 of Germany's then new possession in China, the Kaiser said: "In spite of the fact that we have no such fleet as we should have, we have conquered for ourselves a place in the sun. It will now be my duty to see to it that this place in the sun shall remain our undisputed possession, in order that the sun's rays may fall fruitfully upon our activity and trade in foreign parts." The German Crown Prince, in an introduction to a book published in 1913, said: "It is only by relying on our good German sword that we can hope to conquer the place in the sun which rightly belongs to us and which no one will yield to us voluntarily. Till the world comes to an end, the ultimate decision must rest with the sword."
These statements make clear to us how the modern Huns would win the place in the sun which they have been taught to believe rightly belongs to them.
It is possible that the Kaiser took his idea of "a place in the sun" from a wonderful old copper engraving by the greatest of all German artists, Albrecht Dürer. The engraving was made in 1513 and represents a German knight in full armor mounted upon a fine war horse, riding into a dark and narrow defile between cliffs, to reach a beautiful castle standing in the sun on a hill beyond. A narrow path runs down from the castle, which the knight can reach only by passing through the gloomy and dangerous defile between the rocks. If he would reach his desired place in the sun, he must be afraid of nothing, even though human skulls and lizards are under his horse's feet and death and the devil travel by his side. His horse and his dog are evidently afraid, but the knight himself shows no fear as he rides forward with his "good German sword" at his side and his long spear over his shoulder. A recent German writer has said about this picture, "Every German heart will comprehend the knight who persists in spite of death and the devil in the course on which he has entered. Such a man of resolute action is not tormented by subtle doubts."
So has Germany in the World War tried to ride through the valley of death and destruction, with death and the devil always by her side, to reach a coveted place in the sun. That such a place can be attained only by force is the terribly wrong ideal that has been taught to the German people, to the children in the schools, to the adults in public meetings and in the public press, until at last they have come to believe it, and are willing to ride through the world accompanied by death and the devil if they may thus gain "a place in the sun."
By Albrecht Dürer
Seeking A Place In the Sun
They are, as a German poet, Felix Dahn, wrote, the kith and kin of Thor, the god of might, who conquered all lands with his thundering hammer; and it is their destiny to conquer the world by "the good German sword."
This is the ideal that the Allies are fighting against. What is the ideal they are fighting for? It may also be illustrated by a picture, but this time by a word picture written by a man long familiar with Dürer's wonderful engraving. For years he had a copy of the engraving hung above his desk. As he studied it, he finally saw himself a knight riding on through the world; and he saw riding with him, not death and the devil, but two other knights. One of the knights was hideous to look upon, and rode just behind him; and one was wonderfully beautiful and strong, and rode just ahead of him. And all three rode at full speed forever and ever, the knight, who was the man himself, in the middle, always striving to outrun the knight who was behind him, and to overtake the one before him. Finally he put the thought in verse, for it seemed to him to represent the life of every human being who was free to live out his life as he would wish.
This knight seeks not a place in the sun but a change in himself, to become a better, a braver, a truer knight. Then, wherever he may be, he will find his place in the sun; and that nation whose people seek to grow wiser and better and nobler will always find "the sun's rays falling fruitfully" upon them.
To win prosperity and happiness through becoming abler and better people, under a government which will do all it can to aid them, because it is "a government of the people, for the people, and by the people," is the ideal for which the Allies fight.
"What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"
It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
The greatest leaders in history are often men who for the larger part of their lives have been almost unknown. Poor, simple in their habits, but loyal and true of heart, they have risen from obscurity to positions they alone could fill, and then through their devotion and achievement have become the heroes of the people.
Lincoln, the greatest example and inspiration to American hearts, was in his youth such a simple and obscure person. The Pilgrim fathers, the early pioneers in the West, the great inventors of the hundreds of improvements in the world of business, travel, and communication, were nearly all of them unknown for the greater part of their lives, but were men of true hearts and of strong purposes.
Unattractive, ungainly in appearance, unpopular save among those who knew him well, but with the strength of will and soul born of the simple, true life he had lived, Lincoln rose step by step to seats of power until he sat at length in the highest of all. By that calmness and vision which belong to such great men, Lincoln saved the nation from failure and corruption. He must have foreseen the great nation into which the United States might grow, if only he could rescue it from the terrible ravages of war and reunite the people with one strong, common soul.
Copyright by Underwood & Underwood, N.Y.
Marshal Joseph Jacques Joffre
Marshal Joffre is holding the golden miniature Liberty Statue presented to him when he visited New York City in 1917
We Americans, by thinking of such a leader as Lincoln, may more clearly appreciate what it meant to France in this World War to follow on to victory with such a leader as Joseph Jacques Joffre.
Marshal Joffre was born in 1852 and lived for years in Rivesaltes, a little town near the boundary between France and Spain. His ancestors for generations had been farmers, and his father was a cooper by trade. The boy was a sweet-tempered, modest, intelligent, blue-eyed, and blonde-haired youth. He suffered somewhat from his school-fellows, as any boy does who is popular with his teachers. But he was industrious, wide-awake, and interested in a great many things, mathematics probably being the subject in which he excelled. Trained by thrifty peasant parents, he acquired regular habits which were valuable to him all his life long. Even in this World War, when great responsibility pressed upon him, he rarely failed to retire by nine or ten at night and to rise at five in the morning. Before six each morning, he was out for a short, brisk walk or for a ride on his horse.
When he was only fifteen years old, he astonished his parents by announcing his intention to try for entrance to the École Polytechnique in Paris, a great training school for military officers. Such a plan seemed, not only to his parents, but to his many friends, much too ambitious for a barrel-maker's son. But he insisted on trying the examination and passed fourteenth in a class of one hundred and thirty-two. His sister, for whom Joffre always had a great affection, declared that he would have secured a higher rank if he had not passed such a poor examination in German, a language for which he evidently had a strong dislike. Those who have seen his examination papers say that they are models of neatness, clear thinking, and accuracy.
Because of his high standing, Joffre was made sergeant of his class at the École Polytechnique. This honor, which made him responsible for the order and behavior of his own classmates, was rather an embarrassing one, for he was not of a domineering nature, and was besides the youngest boy in the hall. He found great difficulty in exercising his authority over these dozen or so lively youths, though he was destined one day to be given command over more than three million men.
By hard work he made good progress in his studies. But he did not finish his course, for in 1870 the Franco-Prussian War broke out. Joffre, but eighteen years of age, was made a sub-lieutenant in a Paris fort. That terrible year left its impression upon him for life. He felt the greatest agony at the loss of beautiful Alsace-Lorraine—a part of his own beloved country, taken by the enemy. From that time he lived with one hope—that he might some day be of service in setting right that wrong, in getting back for France that which had been stolen from her. He once said, "I have seen 1870. I have given my life utterly to see that it did not happen again." Thus, it has been said: "The formula for Joffre is easy to find. It is a number; it is a date; it is 1870." What he saw at that time shaped his purposes for the future.
Joffre is not only a thinker, but a man of action. He thinks hard for a time, and then feels compelled to put his thoughts into action. The story is told of how Confucius, upon leaving a funeral service, presented his horse to the chief mourner. When asked why he did so, he replied, "I wept with that man and so I felt I ought to do something for him." Joffre thought long and hard and then wanted to do something.
After the war of 1870, he went into the engineering corps of the army and for fifteen years served well in building barracks and fortifications. Then he asked to go to Indo-China where France was waging a colonial war. He was commissioned a lieutenant, and at the end of three years returned a captain, with the Legion of Honor.
He was made a member of the staff of administration of the engineering corps, and while in this service it was said of him: "Joffre is good at all jobs. He will be good for the big job some day."
In 1892 he went to Africa to build a railroad. While working at that, news came that Colonel Bonnier and his party of Frenchmen had been attacked and many of them massacred by the natives near Timbuctoo. Joffre organized a rescuing expedition (which has ever since been held up as a model), took possession of Timbuctoo, and subdued the tribes; then went back and finished his railroad. When he returned to France this time he was a colonel, having risen one degree in the Legion of Honor.
After three years he was sent to Madagascar, where he built such excellent defenses that upon his return he was made head of the French military engineering corps. He then had the task of preparing the forts of France. He built the forts of Belfort, Épinal, Toul, and Verdun, all of which victoriously withstood the German attacks in the World War.
By this time, Joffre was a general. He practiced at handling troops in the field until he knew all the tactics in moving great bodies of men. He became chief of such matters as transportation, armament, and mobilization.
Yet all this time Joffre was almost entirely unknown among the French people. Quiet, almost shy, a man of few words, he was not one to call attention to himself. Only those who were close to him knew him and his great ability. Late in life he had married a widow with two beautiful daughters. He lived with them very quietly in Auteuil in the suburbs of Paris. Here the great chief loved to gather his family about the piano and enjoy their companionship and an evening of music. He could often be seen mornings, walking with his two beloved daughters. Always he was a kind, thoughtful, gentle, often silent man, and, being silent, he had also the virtue of being a good listener. For he hated empty words, though he talked long enough when he had something to say. He spoke with the greatest simplicity, however, and was always very gentle and courteous in his manners.
The officers of the staff of eleven men who directed the military affairs of the country, of which staff Joffre was a member, valued and esteemed him highly. It was from among the men of this staff that a commander in chief would be chosen in case of war.
But when the time came in 1911 to reorganize the army and appoint a commander in chief, the minds and hearts of the French people turned toward General Pau, the one-armed hero of the Franco-Prussian War. While they were eagerly waiting to applaud his promotion, they were informed that General Joseph Joffre had accepted the appointment. General Pau had refused the position, saying, "No patriotic Frenchman has any right to accept this when such a man as Joffre is available."
Joffre had a great deal of opposition to face. Unpleasant comments were made, and worse than all, France herself was filled with all sorts of political and social evils.
Germany, as all France knew, was planning to dash across the border, and that before very long. But Joffre determined that, should his country be attacked from beyond the Rhine, it would be defended.
Joffre was now fifty-nine years old with his blonde hair and eyebrows grown white. His large head, square face and jaw, his great and powerful frame, suggested strength, vigor, and a marvelous ability for leadership. His first act was to place General Pau, whom he recognized as a very able man, in the next highest command.
Assisted by President Poincaré and Millerand, Minister of War, he set out to reform the army. There prevailed a system of spying, by which officers were privately watched and reported for disloyalty upon the least suspicion. Joffre destroyed this system entirely and announced that all officers would be appointed purely on the basis of merit. He dismissed several generals, some of them his own personal friends, because they were incompetent. They were generals who were either too old, or who could not act quickly and efficiently in the field, even though they were good thinkers. This caused him some unhappy hours, but he did it for France. He promoted men who successfully performed their duties. He made excellent preparation in the new departments created by modern science and inventions,—telephones, automobiles, and aëroplanes. Altogether he put system and order into everything, aroused a soul in his army, and created a new spirit in France.
A year before the war came, Germany had 720,000 men ready to march into France. Joffre, with remarkable skill, raised his army in numbers to about 600,000. Even so they were greatly outnumbered, but Joffre knew that all depended on their ability, for the first few weeks, to withstand the expected onrush of German troops. So he organized them carefully, and best of all, put into their hearts the belief that "there is something which triumphs over all hesitations, which governs and decides the impulses of a great and noble democracy like France,—the will to live strong and free, and to remain mistress of our destinies." This spirit in Joffre and in the other French leaders made France powerful in those first fateful days. It was the same spirit which Joffre later imparted to his men on the eve of the Battle of the Marne, the spirit which made that battle result in victory for France. As the men on that September evening gathered about their officers and listened to the reading of Joffre's message, Joffre's spirit itself took possession of every one of them.
"Advance," the order read, "and when you can no longer advance, hold at all costs what you have gained. If you can no longer hold, die on the spot."
Joffre was careful not to make any decisions until he had thought the question over deeply, but once made, his decisions were immediately carried out. When he ordered a retreat, he knew the reason, and his men trusted him and followed his orders implicitly. The people of France, too, came to love and trust this great general of theirs.
When the German army, fairly on its way to Paris, suddenly met the greatest defeat Germany had known since the days of Napoleon, the villagers near Auteuil, where Joffre had his home, came and covered the steps of his house with flowers. This was the first tribute of the people to the man who had saved the nation, and it showed their confidence in the future of the country as long as it should rest in the hands of Joseph Jacques Joffre.
Thus, from the unknown man who in 1911 had been exalted to a great and responsible position, Joffre quickly became known and loved by all the people of France as "Our Joffre." He was later retired from active service with the highest military rank, Marshal of France.
All the civilized nations of the world have agreed to respect the Red Cross, believing that when men are carried from the battlefield wounded or dying, it is inhuman to war upon them further. But the agreement to this by Germany, like all other German agreements, became only "a scrap of paper" when the Hun leaders thought they saw an advantage in tearing it up.
Germany is also the only nation claiming to be civilized that kills its prisoners when it thinks best. When the Kaiser told the German soldiers going to China to take no prisoners, he meant that they should kill them.
Frightfulness was not a sudden afterthought on the part of the Germans, arising in the excitement of war. It was deliberately planned and taught to the German officers and soldiers. The manual prepared for their use in land warfare contains the rules which are to guide them. Among the directions are these: Endeavor to destroy all the enemies' intellectual and material resources. The methods which kill the greatest number at once are permitted. Force the inhabitants to furnish information against their own armies and their own people. Prisoners may be killed in case of necessity. Any wrong, no matter how great, that will help to victory is allowed.
How the Germans carried out the "Rules for Land Warfare" is well shown by the proclamation posted by General von Bülow in the streets of Namur on August 25, 1914. It read as follows:
Before four o'clock all Belgian and French soldiers must be turned over to us as prisoners of war. Citizens who fail to do this will be sentenced to hard labor for life in Germany. At four o'clock all the houses in the city will be searched. Every soldier found will be shot. Ten hostages will be taken for each street and held by German guards. If there is any trouble in any street, the hostages for that street will be shot. Any crime against the German army may bring about the destruction of the entire city and every one in it.
Frightfulness was taught not only to officers and soldiers but to all the German people, and especially to the children in the schools. One of the selections read and recited, even in the primary schools of Germany before the war, was "The Hymn of Hate" by a German poet, which in English prose is in substance as follows:
Hate! Germany! hate! Cut the throats of your hordes of enemies. Put on your armor and with your bayonets pierce the heart of every one of them. Take no prisoners. Strike them dead. Change their fertile lands into deserts. Hate! Germany! hate! Victory will come from your rage and hate. Break the skulls of your enemies with blows from your axes and the butts of your guns. They are timid, cowardly beasts. They are not men. Let your mailed fist execute the judgment of God.
A German general told Edith Cavell, when she was pleading in behalf of some homeless Belgian women and children, "Pity is a waste of feeling—a moral parasite injurious to the health."
The whole idea of the German War Book is given in the statement made by a great German:
"True strategy means to hit your enemy and to hit him hard, to inflict on the inhabitants of invaded towns the greatest possible amount of suffering, so that they shall become tired of the struggle and cry for peace. You must leave the people of the country through which you march only their eyes to weep with."
And these rules and teachings came at a time when nations were seeking to do away with war forever and were agreeing upon rules that, if war should come, would make it less horrible and that would in particular spare non-combatants.
A German soldier wrote to the American minister, Mr. Gerard, early in the war while Mr. Gerard was still in Berlin:
To the American Government, Washington, U.S.A.:
Englishmen who have surrendered are shot down in small groups. With the French one is more considerate. I ask whether men let themselves be taken prisoner in order to be disarmed and shot down afterwards? Is that chivalry in battle?
It is no longer a secret among the people; one hears everywhere that few prisoners are taken; they are shot down in small groups. They say naïvely: "We don't want any unnecessary mouths to feed. Where there is no one to enter complaint, there is no judge." Is there, then, no power in the world which can put an end to these murders and rescue the victims? Where is Christianity? Where is right? Might is right.
A Soldier and a Man Who Is No Barbarian.
On October 25, 1914, a small party of German soldiers succeeded in entering Dixmude and capturing the commander of the French marines defending the town, and some of his men. It was a dark night and raining hard, and although the Germans had been able to get through the lines into the city and to capture Commander Jeanniot and a few of his men, they were unable to find a way back through the lines and out of the city. They wandered about in the rain and mud for nearly four hours, driving the captured French marines before them with the butts of their rifles. Day was dawning and there was no chance for them to escape in a body in the daytime. So the officers halted them behind a hedge and directed them to scatter.
Then the question arose as to what they should do with their prisoners. The majority voted that they should be put to death, and at a sign from their leader, the Boches knelt and opened fire upon the prisoners, who knew nothing of what was being planned. They were all killed, including the commander, except one, who was hit only in the shoulder. Before the Germans could put him to death, a party of French marines discovered them. The whole band was taken prisoner and brought before the Admiral, who sentenced three of the leaders to be executed. To have killed them all when they were taken would have seemed only too good for them, but the French are not a barbarian but a law-abiding people.
Germany believes she can win in war by making it so "frightful" that none but Germans can be strong enough to endure it. So among other atrocities, Germany has used the red cross on hospitals and hospital ships as a mark to guide them in dropping bombs and in aiming torpedoes. The Roumanian Minister of the Interior stated to the United States government the following:
Because of the action of Germany and her allies, it has been found advisable to remove the Red Cross conspicuously painted on the top of the hospital buildings, because it served as a special mark for the bombs, etc., from aeroplanes.
Germany also believes, without doubt, that killing wounded who may otherwise recover and go back into service will reduce the man power of her enemies, who, she thinks, are too Christianlike, too merciful, too faithful to their agreements to do likewise. Bombing hospitals and killing nurses and doctors will also make it likely that more wounded will die through lack of care and treatment. She knows that every hospital ship sunk means another must be taken to replace it from those carrying food or troops.
There is no mistake about her intentions, although she did at first offer lying excuses. She has dropped "flares," great burning torches, at night to be sure that the red cross was there and then dropped her bombs upon the hospital. She has killed many non-combatants in this way.
Germany has torpedoed, during the first four years of the war, hospital ships with the big red crosses painted on their sides and all lights burning at night (to show they were hospital ships), amounting to a total tonnage of over 200,000 tons. The torpedo that sank the Rewa without warning hit the German target, the red cross, exactly. Germany torpedoed the hospital ship Britannic, 50,000 tons, the largest British ship afloat, partly, without doubt, so that she could not compete with German ships after the war.
The first hospital ship destroyed by the Huns was the Portugal, sunk by a German submarine while she was lying at anchor in the Black Sea. One of the survivors described the sinking as follows:
The Portugal was sinking at the place where she was broken in two, her stern and stem going up higher all the time as she settled amidships. All around me unfortunate Sisters of Mercy were screaming for help. The deck became more down-sloping every minute and I rolled off into the water between the two halves of the sinking steamer. It so happened that the disturbance of the water somewhat abated and I succeeded in swimming up again. I glanced around. The Portugal was no more. Nothing but broken pieces of wreck, boxes which had contained medicaments, materials for dressings, and provisions, were floating about. Everywhere I could see the heads and arms of people battling with the waves, and their shrieks for help were frightful. The hospital ship Portugal was painted white, with a red border all around. The funnels were white with red crosses and a Red Cross flag was on the mast. These distinguishing signs were plainly visible and there can be no doubt whatever that they could be perfectly well seen by the men in the submarine. The conduct of the submarine proves that the men in it knew that they had to do with a hospital ship. The fact of the submarine's having moved so slowly shows the enemy was conscious of being quite out of danger.
Eighty-five lives were lost, including twenty-one nuns who were serving as nurses.
Notwithstanding the fact that, according to the Germans, God is on their side, some power for good saved most of those on the hospital ship Asturias. She did not sink when struck by the torpedo, but she was rendered helpless by the loss of her rudder. There was no sandy beach in sight, so the captain tried to guide her near the rocky shore where, if she sank, perhaps some might reach land, but he found he could not guide the ship. It was dark night, but guided by some unseen power she dodged a reef upon which she would have gone to pieces, rounded a headland, and beached herself upon the only piece of sandy shore in that vicinity.
The English hospital ship Lanfranc was carrying many wounded Germans to England when she was torpedoed. An English officer gave the following vivid description to a London daily paper:
The Lanfranc was attacked by a submarine about 7:30 Tuesday evening just as we had finished dinner. A few of us were strolling to and fro on the deck when there was a crash which shook the liner violently. This was followed by an explosion, and glass and splinters of wood flew in all directions. I had a narrow escape from being pitched overboard and only regained my feet with difficulty. In a few minutes the engine had stopped and the Lanfranc appeared to be sinking rapidly, but to our surprise she steadied herself and after a while remained perfectly motionless. We had on board nearly 200 wounded prisoners belonging to the Prussian Guard, and about twice as many British wounded, many being very bad cases. The moment the torpedo struck the Lanfranc, many of the slightly wounded Prussians made a mad rush for the lifeboats. One of their officers came up to a boat close to which I was standing. I shouted to him to go back, whereupon he stood and scowled. "You must save us," he begged. I told him to wait his turn.
Meanwhile the crew and the staff had gone to their posts. The stretcher cases were brought on deck as quickly as possible and the first boats were lowered without delay. Help had been summoned, and many vessels were hurrying to our assistance. In these moments, while wounded Tommies—many of them as helpless as little children—lay in their cots unaided, the Prussian morale dropped to zero. They made another crazy effort to get into a lifeboat. They managed to crowd into one, but no sooner had it been lowered than it toppled over. The Prussians were thrown into the water, and they fought each other in order to reach another boat containing a number of gravely wounded soldiers.
The behavior of our own lads I shall never forget. Crippled as many of them were, they tried to stand at attention while the more serious cases were being looked after. And those who could lend a hand hurried below to help in saving friend or enemy. I have never seen so many individual illustrations of genuine chivalry and comradeship. One man I saw had had a leg severed and his head was heavily bandaged. He was lifting himself up a staircase by the hands and was just as keen on summoning help for Fritz as on saving himself. He whistled to a mate to come and aid a Prussian who was unable to move owing to internal injuries. Another Tommy limped painfully along with a Prussian officer on his arm, and helped the latter to a boat. It is impossible to give adequate praise to the crew and staff. They were all heroes. They remained at their posts until the last man had been taken off, and some of them took off articles of their clothing and threw them into the lifeboats for the benefit of those who were in need of warm clothing. The same spirit manifested itself as we moved away from the scene of outrage. I saw a sergeant take his tunic off and make a pillow of it for a wounded German. There was a private who had his arms around an enemy, trying hard to make the best of an uncomfortable resting place.
In the midst of all this tragedy the element of comedy was not wanting. A cockney lad struck up a ditty, and the boat's company joined in the chorus of Raymond Hitchcock's "All Dressed Up and Nowheres to Go." Then we had "Take Me Back to Blighty," and as a French vessel came along to our rescue, the boys sang "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile." The French displayed unforgettable hospitality. As soon as they took our wounded on board, they improvised beds and stripped themselves almost bare that English and German alike might be comfortable.
The destruction of the Llandovery Castle was as bad or worse than those already described. For a time the Huns ceased to sink hospital ships running from France to England, but when they learned, through spies, that the Warilda carried no Germans, she was sunk early in August, 1918, with a loss of one hundred and twenty-three doctors, nurses, and wounded. After the Llandovery Castle, after the Warilda, there could be no further German pretense that Germany was waging any other than a barbarian war.
Such inhumanity seems like the work of madmen. Is the Kaiser insane? Are the German war leaders insane? Or are the German people, all, entirely different from the people we consider sane?
Let us remember that a Roman writer said many centuries ago, "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."
When the Huns are losing, they show themselves at their very worst. When they were winning in the first stages of the war, they committed deeds blacker than those of the barbarians who sacked Rome, but after the tide turned against them, then they became even worse and began to use the red cross as a target in bombing hospitals and torpedoing hospital ships.
Moreover, at the Second Battle of the Marne, orders were issued to the German soldiers, who were being driven back with great loss, that seemed too inhuman even for the modern Huns. They were as follows: "Henceforth the enemy is not to be allowed to recover his dead and wounded except behind his own position, even under the Red Cross flag. If stretcher bearers go out, a warning shot is to be fired. If no attention is paid to the shot, the enemy must be thoroughly engaged at once."
As the Philadelphia Public Ledger says, "This is typical of Prussian militarism. It is precisely the sort of thing that our young men have sailed away across the Atlantic to uproot and finally destroy."
The caves described in the Arabian Nights are not more wonderful than the rock citadel of Verdun; in many ways they are not so marvelous. The old citadel is now like a deserted cave, but a cave lighted by electricity and with a passenger elevator to carry one from the lowest floor to the top of the rock, a hundred feet above. In former wars it was a hive of soldiers.
Blasted out of the solid rock-hill are rooms, great halls, passages, hospitals, storerooms, and barracks. The heaviest shells of the enemy fall harmless from the natural rock. Here, one would think, a few soldiers could hold the town and the Meuse valley against greatly superior numbers. And this would be true if it were not for the fact that modern long-range guns can be placed by an enemy on the surrounding hills, once they have won them, and prevent food, ammunition, or supplies being brought to the citadel. Leaving these guns with enough men to work them, the great body of the enemy could then advance towards Paris, for the Meuse valley at Verdun is the highway from Metz to Paris.
The French generals realized long ago that the city and the valley could not, because of the increased power of big guns, be defended from the citadel. So they built great forts several miles from the city upon the hills which surrounded it, to halt the Germans when they should advance, as France knew they would when they were ready.
For an army to get from Germany into France and to the plains east of Paris, it was necessary to pass down the valley of the Meuse and through Verdun, and for this reason France spent vast sums of money to make these forts impregnable.
After the opening weeks of the World War had shown how easy it was for the German big guns to destroy the finest modern forts, like those at Liége, Namur, and Antwerp, the French command removed the garrisons from the forts protecting Verdun and placed them in trenches farther away from the city and the citadel, upon the second range of hills.
There was another way for the Germans to reach the plains of Champagne and of Châlons, which by treaty they had agreed not to use. That way was through Belgium. When the Huns declared this treaty only "a scrap of paper" to be torn up whenever their plans required it, and, to the surprise of all honorable nations, went through Belgium, they were soon able to reach the plains east and north of Paris, and Verdun ceased to be a key position. Verdun was about one hundred and fifty miles from Paris, and the Germans were already less than half that distance from the city. So when it was learned that the enemy had determined to capture Verdun, the forts surrounding it, and the highway through the river valley, the French command decided it was not worth holding at the cost in lives that would be necessary. To capture it would help the Germans very little, and to retire from it would greatly improve the French lines.
The Germans doubtless realized that this would be the decision of the French and that they would have an easy, an almost bloodless, victory. They also knew that all Germans and all Frenchmen had for centuries looked upon Verdun as a second Gibraltar and as one of the chief defenses of Paris and northern France, one which had been made—as the French thought—impregnable by the expenditure of vast sums of money. For this reason the Germans believed its loss would be taken as a terrible blow by the French people, and would be considered by the German populace as the greatest victory of the war. They hoped it might be the last straw, or one of the last, that would break the backbone of the French resistance. In order to give credit for this great victory to their future Kaiser, the armies of the Crown Prince were selected for the easy task.
The French command, it is said, had already issued the first orders for the retreat to stronger positions, when the French civic leaders realized Germany's game by which she hoped to win a great moral victory and to add to the hopes and courage of the German people; and although General Joffre believed it was a mistake, the French decided to remain just where they were.
The Germans were so sure of everything going as they had planned that they had advertised their coming victory in every corner of Germany and even in the Allied countries. When they found they were to be opposed, they brought up larger forces and when these were not strong enough to win, they increased them, until the Battle of Verdun, in which the Germans lost nearly half a million men in killed, wounded, and prisoners, became probably the greatest battle in the history of the world. It continued for six months.
Is it not strange that this, the greatest of all battles, was not a conflict waged to secure some territory, some river crossing, some fort, or some city absolutely necessary to win further progress, but a battle to add strength to the German mind and soul and to weaken the spirit of the French? Think of these modern Huns, who believe in the force of might and of material things, fighting for a victory over the spirit, which is never really broken by such things and is never conquered by them, but is to be won only by justice, mercy, friendship, love, and other spiritual forces.
And the French spirit did not flinch or weaken. The French people and the French soldiers said, "They shall not pass," and they did not pass. The Germans brought their big guns near enough to destroy the city, but the citadel laughed at them. They captured Fort Douaumont and Fort Vaux, but later had to give them up to the French.
All of Hunland rejoiced when the Brandenburgers captured Fort Douaumont, and the disappointment of the French people made every one realize that to have given up the city and the citadel without a fight, even though it was wise from a military point of view, would have been a grave mistake. But before the long battle was over, the French soldiers made one of their most remarkable charges back of waves of shell fire and swept the Germans from the hill upon which the fort was built. They recaptured the fort, taking six thousand prisoners, and sent thrills and cheers through France and the civilized world.
No, they did not pass. The soul of France with her flaming sword stood in the way. The Huns were trained to fight things that they could see, that they could touch, that they could measure, and especially things that they could frighten and kill. The soul of France they could not see, just as they could not, at the opening of the war, see or understand the soul of Belgium, and just as they did not believe in or comprehend the soul of America, later. But the soul of France barred their way and they did not pass, for they could neither frighten her nor kill her.
The right is more precious than peace. We shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts. To such a task we dedicate our lives.
Woodrow Wilson, 1917.
A German leader once said, "The oldest right in the world is the right of the strongest." This is true and will always continue to be true as long as the world is made up only of inanimate matter and lifeless forces and of living, thinking beings who consider "the strongest" as meaning the powers or things that can cause the greatest destruction and the most terrible evil. The beasts recognize these as the strongest, and without question admit that the oldest right in the world is the chief right in the world.
But as men have become civilized, they have come to fear destruction, and even the loss of life, less and less, and have learned to feel the strength of beauty, truth, justice, mercy, purity, and innocence. So it comes to pass that Robert Burns mourns when his plow turns under a mountain daisy or destroys the home of a field mouse. Because he feels the influence of the innocent and the helpless, the "wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower" and the "wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie," he gives us two of the most beautiful poems in the English language, poems that, by the power of their tenderness, truth, and beauty, have brought tears to the eyes of many a strong, brave man who feared no enemy.
Such was the power of Joan of Arc when she led the French soldiers to battle and to victory,—simply the power of her belief and her faith, for she was a simple, untrained peasant girl, knowing nothing of how battles are to be won.
Such is the power of the English nurse, Edith Cavell, executed by the Germans as a spy, because she helped English and Belgians to escape from the German horrors in Belgium by crossing the line into Holland.
Such is the power of the murdered mothers and children on the Lusitania, the memory of whose wrongs cause English and American soldiers to go "over the top," crying "Lusitania! Lusitania!"
Such is the power of undaunted Cardinal Mercier, who in the very midst of German officers and troops, denounces German atrocities in Belgium, and yet is himself untouched.
The exercise of the right of the strongest, the right which comes through might, brings about war. General Sherman, who knew the terrors of war from what he saw in our Civil War, said, "War is hell." He could not describe its horrors and so he used the one word that means to most people the most horrible state and place in which human beings can suffer. For many years most men have realized that war is the most dreadful scourge of the human race, and that it should be abolished. But as is always the case, men cannot agree,—which is, of course, the chief reason why there are wars. In the face of terrible calamities, disasters, and great crises, men will agree. Perhaps the World War will prove the great disaster that will lead men to do away forever with war.
For twenty-five years before the world's peace was rudely broken by the ambitions of Germany, the people of other countries had been urgently seeking some means of doing away with war. Peace societies had been organized and wealthy men had donated money to be used in efforts to secure the permanent peace of the world. A Peace Palace had been erected at The Hague from funds donated by the American multi-millionaire, Andrew Carnegie, who had also set aside a fund of $10,000,000 for the purpose of keeping the world at peace. The Nobel prize of $40,000 was awarded annually to the person anywhere in the world who had done the most for peace. Theodore Roosevelt, while President, won this by settling the Russian-Japanese War. The Tsar of Russia had proposed at one of the conferences of nations held at the Peace Palace that the nations should gradually do away with military preparations. We can see now why all these efforts failed. Germany had her mind and heart set on war and on conquering the world.
Most men agree that war is unnecessary, and before the German attack upon Belgium and upon the liberty of the world, many leaders of thought in other countries were sure a great war could never occur in modern times. One group argued that its cost in money would be so great that no nation could meet it for more than a few months. But the United States is, in 1918, spending nearly $50,000,000 a day for war, and she can continue to do so for some years, if necessary. The cost in dollars will never prevent war nor make a great war a very brief one.
But think of what the cost of the war for one year would accomplish if spent for the purposes of peace, for construction instead of destruction. Ten billion dollars, the approximate cost of the war for the United States for the year 1918, if put at interest at four per cent, would earn $400,000,000, or about the cost of the Panama Canal. This interest would send 500,000 young men and women to college each year, and pay all their necessary expenses. It would do away with all the slums and poverty of our great cities. If the cost to one nation for one year would, as a permanent fund, accomplish this, it is easy to realize that the world could almost be made an ideal one in which to live, if the money that all the nations spend upon the World War could have been saved and made a permanent fund for the betterment of world conditions.
Another group said, "Modern science has made war so terrible and so destructive that men will not take part in it, or if this is not true now, it soon will be." When we think of what has occurred and is occurring every day in the present war, this seems also unlikely.
When we read of guns that will carry a shell weighing a ton for over twenty-five miles which will, when it explodes, destroy everything within an eighth of a mile, and of guns less destructive that will carry over seventy-five miles, almost wholly destroying a church and killing sixty-five men, women, and children; when we read of bombs dropped from the sky, killing innocent women and children, hundreds of miles from the field of battle; of the terrible work of poison gases and of liquid fire; of battles above the clouds from which men fall to death in blazing air-planes, and of battles beneath the waves in which men sink in submarines to be suffocated to death; of an entire ridge being undermined and blown up by tons of dynamite, with an explosion heard nearly one hundred miles away and killing thousands: how can we believe that war is likely soon to become so terrible that men will not engage in it, if they are willing to do so now? Sir Gilbert Parker well says: "Guns have been invented before which the stoutest fortresses shrivel into fiery dust; shells destroy men in platoons, blow them to pieces, bury them alive; death pours from the clouds and spouts upward through the sea; motor-power hurls armies of men on points of attack in masses never hitherto employed; concealment is made well nigh impossible. These things, however, have but made war more difficult and dreadful; they have not made it impossible. They have only succeeded in plumbing profounder depths of human courage, and evoking higher qualities of endurance than have ever been seen before."
No, most people who are thinking about the subject to-day are agreed that wars will not end because of the destructive power of men, but through the constructive power of human feeling and intellect. When the great majority of men recognize, as so many do now, that as the world exists to-day, no nation can ever gain by a war of aggression, but that the nation at war loses her best, her young and strong, and has left only the old and defective who cannot fight, that she loses her industrial and commercial prosperity as well, and through these losses loses more than she can ever gain by conquest; when all nations realize that the destruction of great cathedrals like Rheims, of the beautiful town hall at Lille, of the unique Cloth Market at Ypres, and of a University like that of Louvain makes the whole world poorer beyond measure, then will men agree that no small group of men, and no single nation shall, in the future, be allowed to cause war; and then they will organize some power strong enough to prevent war.
Then will come the League of Nations to Enforce Peace, or the Parliament of Man of which Tennyson wrote in "Locksley Hall" seventy-five years ago. The poet seemed as in a vision to see the present World War with its terrors and its battles in the air. Perhaps his vision of the abolition of war and the federation of the world is equally true.
Copyright by Underwood & Underwood, N.Y.
Sir Douglas Haig—In Command of the British Armies
No man knows exactly when and where the three and twenty allies will win the war, but all men know when and where Germany lost it. It was four years ago this morning, at a point near Gemmenich, a village southwest of Aix-la-Chapelle. It was then and there that the first gray uniform crossed the frontier from Germany into Belgium.
An hour before and it was not too late for Germany to win the war, or at least to lose it with honor. An hour afterward, and Germany was doomed. What has befallen her since that 4th of August, what will befall her in the future, were predetermined from the fatal instant of that summer morning when the first German soldier trod where Prussia had promised he should never go. There is not a German killed to-day in the flight to the Vesle whose fate was not written at Gemmenich.
It was not merely that the invasion of a land guaranteed perpetual neutrality brought Great Britain into the fight and turned into a world war what Germany had hoped would be a small, swift, and easy campaign. It was the exposure of Germany herself. Know of her what we may to-day, we thought of her otherwise four years ago yesterday. She had thrown about herself a mantle which hid the sword and the thick, studded boots. She worked at science and played at art. She sang and thumped the piano. She cleaned her streets and washed her children's faces. Many persons in America and England believed that she was efficient and that her very verboten signs were guides to the ideal life. Even as the Kaiser reviewed his armies he babbled of peace; peace, to believe him, was the first object of his life.
We do not know of any writer who has condensed the proof of Germany's falsehood and cowardice into so few words as Von Bethmann-Hollweg, who, as Chancellor of the Empire, spoke as follows to the Reichstag four years ago this afternoon:
Gentlemen, we are now acting in self-defence. Necessity knows no law. Our troops have occupied Luxemburg and have possibly already entered on Belgian soil. [The speaker knew that the invasion had begun.]
Gentlemen, that is a breach of international law.
The French Government has notified Brussels that it would respect Belgian neutrality as long as the adversary respected it. But we know that France stood ready for an invasion. France could wait, we could not. A French invasion on our flank and the lower Rhine might have been disastrous. Thus we were forced to ignore the rightful protests of the Governments of Luxemburg and Belgium. The injustice—I speak openly—the injustice we thereby commit we will try to make good as soon as our military aims have been attained. He who is menaced as we are and is fighting for his all, can only consider the one and best way to strike.
There stood the German Empire, intensively trained in the arts of war for forty years, pleading cowardice in extenuation of her broken word. "France could wait, we could not!" A brave man, Bethmann-Hollweg, unless he knew before he spoke that the whole nation had sunk to the immoral level of the cowards who invaded Belgium because they feared that on a fair field France would have beaten them! It is curious that in the whole record of German state-craft in the war, the Chancellor's confession of his empire's degradations stands out almost like a clean thing.
The Chancellor did not deceive the people except in his implication that France would have struck through Belgium if Germany had not. He did not deceive himself, either. He knew the cowardice of Germany. It is probable that he believed, as the Junkers believed, that England, too, was a coward. Prince Lichnowsky had told them the truth about England, but they had not believed. In the years of Kultur, they had forgotten what honor was like. They chose to credit the stories that England was torn with dissensions, threatened with rebellion in Ireland and India, nervous from labor troubles, and not only physically unprepared for war but mentally and morally unfit for war. Even the telegram of Sir Edward Grey, communicated on the day of Belgium's invasion, to the German Government by the British Ambassador at Berlin, did not dispel the illusion about Great Britain:
In view of the fact that Germany declined to give the same assurance respecting Belgium as France gave last week in reply to our request made simultaneously at Berlin and Paris, we must repeat that request and ask that a satisfactory reply to it and to my telegram of this morning be received here by 12 o'clock to-night. If not, you are instructed to ask for your passports and to say that His Majesty's Government feels bound to take all steps in their power to uphold the neutrality of Belgium and the observance of a treaty to which Germany is as much a party as ourselves.
Even that memorable document, we say, did not convince Germany that common honor still lived across the Channel. The Foreign Secretary, Von Jagow, a mere tool of the Kaiser, took it mechanically; but Von Bethmann-Hollweg added to the sum of German cowardice. Brave as he had been in the Reichstag, he whimpered to Sir Edward Goschen when he saw that "12 o'clock to-night" on paper. This account of the conversation is Goschen's, but the German Chancellor later confirmed the Englishman's version:
I found the Chancellor very agitated. His Excellency at once began a harangue which lasted for about twenty minutes. He said that the step taken by His Majesty's Government was terrible to a degree; just for a word—"neutrality," a word which in war time had so often been disregarded—just for a scrap of paper, Great Britain was going to make war on a kindred nation who desired nothing better than to be friends with her.
When he added that it was a matter of "life and death" to Germany to advance through Belgium, the British Ambassador replied that it was "a matter of life and death for the honor of Great Britain that she should keep her solid engagement to do her utmost to defend Belgium's neutrality if attacked." Her utmost! Aye, she has done it!
A last gasp from the German Chancellor: "But at what price will that compact have been kept? Has the British Government thought of that?" Sir Edward Goschen replied that "fear of consequences could hardly be regarded as an excuse for breaking solemn engagements," but these words were lost. The German Chancellor had abandoned himself to the contemplation of the truth: that morning Germany had been beaten when a soldier stepped across a line. How long the decision might be in dispute Bethmann-Hollweg could not know, but he must have known that, cheating, Germany had loaded the dice at the wrong side. If she had struck fairly at France, England would have had to stand by, neutral. The seas would be open to Germany. If France had violated Belgium's neutrality—as Germany professed to believe she intended to do—England would have attacked France, keeping the pledge made in the Treaty of London. But now, because England weighed a promise and not the price of keeping it, there could be no swift stroke at lone France, no dash eastward to subdue Russia. To-day, when Germany sees how ripe Russia was then for revolution, the remembrance of that 4th of August must be the bitterest drop in the deep cup of her regret.
The items at which we have glanced were not all or even the most important acts of Germany's dawning tragedy. It was not merely that she revealed herself to the world, but that she revealed herself to herself. The moving picture of Kultur, of fake idealism, of humaneness, which she had unreeled before our charitable eyes was stopped, and stopped forever. The film, exposed momentarily to the flame of truth, exploded and left on the screen the hideous picture of Germany as she was. No more sham for a naked nation. In went the unmasked Prussian to outrage and murder, to bind and burn. When a Government violated its word to the world, why should the individual check his passions? All the world, at first unbelieving, watched the procession of horror, and then, against its wishes, against all the ingrained faith that the long years had stored within the human breast, the world saw that it was dealing with nothing less than a monster.
England's day, this? Yes, and a glorious anniversary for her. She has indeed kept her "solid engagement to do her utmost." In a million graves are men of the British Empire who did not consider the price at which the compact would be kept. Their lives for a scrap of paper—and welcome! When we think that we are winning the war—and nobody denies that it is American men and food and ships and guns that are winning it now—let us look back to the 4th of August, 1914, and remember what nation it was that stood between the beast and his prey, scorning all his false offers of kindness to Belgium, his promises not to rob France, and his hypocritical cry of "kindred nation" to the England he really hated.
But it is not alone England's day. It is the day of the opening of the world's eyes to the criminality of Prussia. It is the anniversary of Germany's loss of the war. We—America, France, England, Italy, and the rest of us—will win it, but Germany lost it herself with the one stroke at Gemmenich. She believed it a masterpiece of cunning. It was the foul thrust of a coward and the deliberate mistake of a fool.
The New York Sun, August 4, 1918.
 COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK SUN
 COPYRIGHT, BY BARSE AND HOPKINS
The story of "The Animals Going to War" tells how, one by one, the wild creatures, then the enemies of man, were made his friends and learned to be his helpers. In the World War, the horse has borne man into the thick of the conflict, the mule has drawn his big guns into place, and the dog has wonderfully come to his aid, so that now, whenever the "dogs of war" are let loose, the war dogs go with them.
The Battle of Verdun had been raging for months; Fort Douaumont had been taken, lost, and finally retaken by the French. The Germans still poured against it a terrific rain of shot and shell, and within the battered fortress the guns were disabled and the ammunition nearly exhausted. Help was needed and needed at once. Long ago the wireless had been shot to pieces, and the telephones had been destroyed. It was sure death for a man to venture outside, let alone trying to reach the lines behind, where he might secure help.
Still the defenders stood firm, and in their hearts, if not with their lips, over and over they repeated those magic words, "They shall not pass!" But the shells continued to fall in their very midst, and unless that battery could be silenced, the fort and all the men in it would be lost. What could be done when no messenger could reach the lines behind?
Suddenly, as the men were straining their eyes almost hopelessly in the direction of those lines, they saw a small, dark speck moving across the fields, stopping only here and there behind a rock to take shelter from the bursting shells. Now and then it dashed wildly over the open fields. But ever straight on toward the fort it came. Swiftly the entrance of the fort was flung open, and in dashed one of the faithful dogs, unhurt. In the wallet, fastened to his collar, was found a message telling that relief was coming. Strapped to his back was a tiny pannier, inside of which were two frightened carrier pigeons. On a slip of paper the commander quickly wrote his message: "Stop the German battery on our left." Then adding any necessary facts as to pointing the guns, he fastened the message to the trembling bird and let it loose. Straight to its home, above shot and shell, flew the pigeon. In a few moments the German battery was silenced, and Douaumont and the brave defenders were saved.
All along the lines, the dogs were busy bearing important messages back and forth from one commander to another, and from one fort to another. Zip, an English bulldog, ran two miles in heavy shell fire and afterward had to go about with his jaw in splints; but he delivered his message and seemed anxious to get well enough to carry another. One of the other messenger dogs, it is said, carried orders almost continuously for seventy-two hours, hardly stopping to eat or drink; for no war dog would eat or drink anything given him by strangers. The faithful animals were in danger of being taken prisoners, as well as of being struck. Indeed, in one instance a heavy cannon rolled over upon a big mastiff, pinning him there until help came.
When the battle ceased, the dogs sprang from the trenches and searched the fields and woods for wounded men. They could find them much more quickly and with less danger of being seen than any Red Cross man.
In former wars among civilized peoples, the firing has always been upon armed forces, and the guns were silent after each battle to allow both sides to find and care for the wounded soldiers in the field. The Germans, however, have used the Red Cross doctors and stretcher-bearers for targets, so that to send them out only means to add them to the number wounded. But the dogs, creeping among the men, can seldom be seen by the enemy, and besides are able to find the wounded quicker and more easily. As soon as a dog finds an injured soldier, he seizes his cap, a button, or a bit of his clothing, and runs back with it to the doctor or a Red Cross nurse, for he will give it to no one else. The stretcher-bearers then follow the dog and bring back the wounded man. Often the man may lie in a dense thicket where no one would think to look for him, but the dog, by his keen sense of smell or by hearing the deep breaths or some slight sound made by the injured man, creeps in and finds him.
Sometimes, to attract the attention of an ambulance driver, the dogs give several short, quick barks; but usually they do their work silently, for if they bark, the enemy will fire.
Many times a dog finds a man unable to get back to the lines, but not so seriously wounded but that he can help himself somewhat. In such a case, before running for help, the dog stands quiet, close to the soldier, and allows him to take the flasks and first-aid bandages from the wallet which is hung about the dog's neck or pinned to the blanket on his back.
Thus, by the help of these faithful friends, the lives of many hundreds of men have been saved. Over one hundred were rescued in one night after a battle. A big Newfoundland, named Napoleon, had the credit of saving as many as twenty. One of the men, in speaking of him, said, "Part of his tail has been blown away, and once he was left for dead in No Man's Land, but he is still on the job, working for civilization."
When not fighting or on watch, the men in the trenches enjoy the company of the dogs and teach them to perform all sorts of tricks, the fox terriers proving especially intelligent. They also do good work in keeping the trenches free from rats.
At night, a French sentinel sometimes crawls through the entanglements on his way to a "listening post" out in No Man's Land. With him goes a sentinel dog. The sentinel's purpose is to discover if the enemy are getting ready for a surprise attack. Lying flat on the earth, or crouching in a shell hole, he listens with bated breath for any telltale noises. The dog, listening too, creeps along beside him, or slinks silently out into the darkness. He can tell, when his master cannot, if an enemy is abroad. Making no sound, giving no betraying bark, as soon as he discovers the enemy the dog draws near to his master, stands at attention, his ears pricked up, his hair bristling, his tail wagging as he silently paws the ground or growls so low that only his master can hear him. If the German soldier attempts to fight, the dog springs at him and throws him to the ground.
A group of soldiers were on watch one night in one of the front trenches, when all of the dogs suddenly became uneasy, growling low, and growing more and more excited. The soldiers knew their dogs and trusted their warnings, so they telephoned back to the main trenches for help. In less than half an hour, an attack was made from the German trenches opposite. Meanwhile, however, reënforcements had arrived for the Allies, which sent the enemy back to his own lines again. How the dogs knew so long before that the attack was coming, whether they could have heard the first faint signs of preparation in the enemy trenches, the soldiers could not tell.
When a front line trench of the enemy is captured, it is the faithful dogs who draw up the many cartloads of ammunition and supplies, and some of the smaller guns. For this, the Belgian dogs are especially well fitted.
Happy as long as they can help in the fighting, restless and uneasy whenever sent back to the hospitals for treatment or rest, these dogs have shown the worth of all the training they have received, as well as a great amount of natural intelligence.
While Zip, Napoleon, Spot, Stop, Mignon, and Bouée have been doing their bit on the firing line, still others have been taking their training in readiness to go to the front. And very hard training it is. Sheep dogs, fox terriers, bulldogs, collies, St. Bernards, Newfoundlands, Alaskan wolf dogs, mongrels,—all must be carefully trained by expert dog trainers.
First they must learn to distinguish between the uniform of their country and that of the enemy. They must not bark, because then the enemy will be sure to shoot. In carrying letters from post to post, they must learn to recognize the posts by name.
Copyright by Underwood & Underwood, N.Y.
A French Officer and His Dog Both Wearing Anti-Gas Masks While Crossing a Dangerous Zone in France
About three months of training are necessary to teach the dogs to travel as far as three kilometres in this work. Two of the dogs are put into the care of two trainers, and taught to recognize both as their masters, and to carry dispatches from one to the other.
The dogs must be trained to obey implicitly. If the master stops abruptly in his walk, the dog must do the same; if the trainer runs, the dog must keep in perfect step, ready at a given signal to lie down, or follow a scent, or find a wounded soldier. For many hours he must be trained in jumping, because of the great heights over which he must spring, carrying heavy weights in his mouth or upon his back or around his neck. He must learn to make no sound except when ordered to do so, to find objects which have been most skillfully hidden, to distinguish between a dead man and one wounded and breathing, to deliver the token of a wounded man only to the doctor or Red Cross nurse, to allow nothing to hinder him from carrying out any task, to refuse food and water from strangers, and to aid soldiers on the watch. These watch dogs must learn to give a signal when they scent poison gas or hear the enemy creeping up. And they must guard prisoners very carefully.
Some dogs cannot learn all of these duties, and so specialists examine every dog that is enlisted. There are tests for health, intelligence, speed, quick tempers, and even tempers. When a dog has been in training for several weeks, he is sometimes found in the end to be unfit for service, and the trainer has to admit a new recruit in his place and start all over again. Often a dog can do certain tasks much better than others, and so each one is assigned to the kind of service which he can do best.
It is marvelous what great services these dogs have rendered in the World War. The governments have recognized their worth, and societies have been formed to train and protect them. The French people, in 1912, organized the "Blue Cross." It is a Blue Cross officer who examines the dogs and a Blue Cross doctor who gives first aid and orders an injured dog to the hospital for further treatment. The Blue Cross also has been at work in Italy.
The American Red Cross Society has taken over the task of securing and protecting dogs on the American front, but instead of the red cross, the animals wear a red star, so that the field is blest with three red symbols of mercy—the red cross, the red triangle, and the red star. The number of dogs added to the war service during the first four years of the war was about ten thousand on all fronts.
Not only have dogs been provided by various societies, but many have been given by private families. One elderly French father wrote to the French War Department, "I already have three sons and a son-in-law with the Colors; now I give up my dog, and 'Vive la France!'"
The French government officials, as well as the various societies, have shown their gratitude by awarding honors to the canine heroes. Many have been mentioned in the orders for bravery and heroic conduct. Several have been presented with gold collars. The French government has even published a "Golden Book of Dogs," in which are recorded some of the heroic deeds of these brave and faithful friends of man. One of the dogs wearing a French medal of honor is a plucky fox terrier, who is said to have saved one hundred fifty lives after the Battle of the Marne. Bouée, a fuzzy-haired, dirty, yellow-and-black, tailless little fellow, is another hero, who has been cited three times for his bravery. During a heavy action, when all the telephone wires had been destroyed, Bouée carried communications between a commandant and his force, fulfilling his duty perfectly without allowing anything to distract him.
Shall we not change the old proverb from "As brave as a lion," to "As brave as a dog"?
The Belgian Prince was a British cargo steamer. On a voyage from Liverpool to Philadelphia, with Captain Hassan in command, she was, on July 31, 1917, attacked and sunk by a German U-boat. For brutal savagery and barbarism, the drowning of the crew of the Belgian Prince is one of the most astounding in the history of human warfare. Captain Hassan was taken aboard the U-boat, and no further knowledge of his fate has been received. The Belgian Prince was a merchant ship, not a warship in any sense of the word.
The Germans evidently intended to sink her without a trace left behind to tell the story, as their Minister to Argentina advised his government to do with Argentine ships; but three members of her crew, the chief engineer and two seamen, escaped as by a miracle. Their stories are now among the records of the British Admiralty; they have also been published in many books which have a place in thousands of libraries, public and private, all over the world. How will the Hun, when peace comes again, face his fellow-men?
The story of the chief engineer, Thomas Bowman, is as follows:
At 7:50 P.M. on the night of July 31, the Belgian Prince was traveling along at ten knots, when she was struck. The weather was fine and the sea smooth. It was a clear day and just beginning to darken. I was on the after deck of the ship, off watch, taking a stroll and having a smoke. The donkeyman shouted out, "Here's a torpedo coming." I turned and saw the wake on the port about a hundred yards away. I yelled a warning, but the words were no more than out of my mouth when we were hit.
I was thrown on deck by a piece of spar, and when I recovered I found the ship had a very heavy list to port and almost all the crew had taken to the boats. I got into the starboard lifeboat, which was my station. Until then I had seen no submarine, but now heard it firing a machine gun at the other side of the ship. With a larger gun it shot away the radio wires aloft so that we could send out no S.O.S. messages. As soon as we had pulled away from the ship I saw the U-boat, which promptly made toward our own boats and hailed us in English, commanding us to come alongside her. We were covered by their machine gun and revolvers. We were in two lifeboats and the captain's dinghy.
The submarine commander then asked for our captain and told him to come on board, which he did. He was taken down inside the submarine and we saw him no more. The rest of us, forty-three in number, were then ordered to board the submarine and to line up on deck. A German officer and several sailors were very foul and abusive in their language. They ordered us, in English, to strip off our life belts and overcoats and throw them down on the deck.
When this was done they proceeded to search us, making us hold up our hands and threatening us with revolvers. These sailors, while they passed along the deck and were searching us, deliberately kicked most of the life belts overboard from where we had dropped them. Beyond making us take off our life belts and coats there was no interference with our clothing. They robbed me of my seaman's discharge book and certificate, which they threw overboard, but kept four one-pound notes.
After searching us, the German sailors climbed into our lifeboats and threw out the oars, gratings, thole-pins, and baling tins. The provisions and compass they lugged aboard the submarine. They then smashed our boats with axes so as to make them useless, and cast them adrift. I saw all this done myself. Several of the German sailors then got into our dinghy and rowed to the Belgian Prince. These men must have been taken off later, after they had ransacked the ship.
The submarine then moved ahead for a distance of several miles. I could not reckon it accurately because it was hard to judge her speed. She then stopped, and after a moment or two I heard a rushing sound like water pouring into the ballast tanks of the submarine.
"Look out for yourselves, boys," I shouted. "She is going down."
The submarine then submerged, leaving all our crew in the water, barring the captain, who had been taken below. We had no means of escape but for those who had managed to retain their life belts. I tried to jump clear, but was carried down with the submarine, and when I came to the surface I could see only about a dozen of our men left afloat, including a young lad named Barnes, who was shouting for help.
I swam toward him and found that he had a life belt on, but was about paralyzed with cold and fear. I held him up during the night. He became unconscious and died while I was holding him. All this time I could hear no other men in the water. When dawn broke I could see the Belgian Prince about a mile and a half away and still floating. I began to swim in her direction, but had not gone far when I saw her blow up.
I then drifted about in the life belt for an hour or two longer and saw smoke on the horizon. This steamer was laying a course straight for me, having seen the explosion of the Belgian Prince. She proved to be a British naval vessel, which also found the two other survivors in the water. We were taken to port and got back our strength after a while. None of us had given the submarine commander and crew any reason for their behavior toward us. And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously, believing it to be true.
The two common sailors who survived were William Snell, a negro, of Norfolk, Virginia, and George Silenski, a Russian. William Snell's story is as follows:
Two men of the submarine's crew stayed on top of the conning tower with rifles in their hands which they kept trained on us. Seven other Germans stood abreast of our line on the starboard side of the boat, armed with automatic pistols. The captain of the submarine, a blond man with blue eyes, was also on deck and stood near the forward gun, giving orders to his crew in German, and telling them what to do. Pretty soon he walked along in front of the men of the Belgian Prince, asking them if they had arms on them. He ordered us to take off our life belts and throw them on deck, which we did. As they dropped at our feet, he helped his sailors pick them up and sling them overboard.
When I threw my belt down, I shoved it along on the deck with my foot, and finally stood on it. As the commander walked along the line, he huddled us together in a crowd and then went and pulled the plugs out of our lifeboats, which were lying on the starboard side of the submarine. When he went back to the conning tower, I quickly picked up my belt and hid it under a big, loose oilskin which I was wearing when I left the Belgian Prince. The Germans did not make me take it off when they searched me. I hugged the life belt close to my breast with one arm.
When the commander returned to the conning tower, four German sailors came on deck from below and got into our captain's small boat, which was on the port side. The submarine then backed a little, steamed ahead, and rammed and smashed one of our lifeboats, which had been cast adrift.
The four men who had jumped into our captain's boat now pulled alongside the Belgian Prince. The submarine then got under way and moved ahead at about nine knots, as near as I could guess, leaving her four men aboard the Belgian Prince, and all of us, except our skipper, huddled together on the forward deck, which was almost awash.
She steamed like this for some time, and then I noticed that the water was rising slowly on the deck until it came up to my ankles. I had also noticed, a little while before this, that the conning tower was closed. The water kept on rising around my legs, and when it got almost up to my knees I pulled out my life belt, threw it over my shoulders, and jumped overboard. The other men didn't seem to know what was going to happen. Some of them were saying, "I wonder if they mean to drown us."
About ten seconds after I had jumped, I heard a suction as of a vessel sinking and the submarine had submerged entirely, leaving the crew of the Belgian Prince to struggle in the water.
I began to swim toward our own ship which I could see faintly in the distance, it being not very dark in that latitude until late in the evening. The water was not cold, like the winter time, and I was not badly chilled, but swam and floated all night, on my back and in other positions. One of our crew, who had no life belt, kept about five yards from me for half an hour after the submarine submerged. Then he became exhausted and sank. I could hear many other cries for help, but I could not see the men.
When day came, there were lots of bodies of old shipmates floating around me. Then about five o'clock, as near as I can judge, I made out the Belgian Prince and four men coming over the side. They had been lowering some stuff into a boat. I cried out, "Help, help!" but they paid no attention to me.
Then the submarine came to the surface and the four sailors hoisted their stuff out of the rowboat and were taken aboard. Ten minutes later the submarine submerged. Then there was a great explosion as the Belgian Prince broke in two and sank. Soon I saw a vessel approaching and she passed me, but turned and came back just in time. I was all in. It was a British patrol steamer, and as soon as I came to, I made a full report to the captain of the loss of the Belgian Prince and the drowning of her crew.
The Russian, in his story, tells of the taking away of the life belts and the smashing of the lifeboats; of the crew of the Belgian Prince being left to sink or swim after the U-boat submerged—in all of these details agreeing with the stories of the other two. And he adds:
Then I swam toward the ship all night, although I had no life belt or anything to support me. About five o'clock in the morning I reached the Belgian Prince and climbed on board. I stayed there about an hour and got some dry clothes and put them on.
I saw the submarine come near the ship and three or four of her men climbed on board. I hid and they did not notice me. They had come to put bombs in the ship, so I jumped overboard from the poop with a life belt on. The submarine fired two shells into the ship to make her hurry up and sink. Then the Germans steamed away. I climbed into our little boat which had been left adrift and stayed there until a British patrol ship came along and picked me up.
Do you wonder that the members of the British Seamen's Union have taken a pledge, "No peace until the sea is free from Hun outrages"; and that they have declared a boycott on all German ships, cargoes, and sailors for seven years after the war? Sailors of other nations are joining with the British in this boycott.
So sang the men who, with D'Annunzio, the Italian poet and hero, set out "to dare the undarable."
Little has yet been told of the deeds of the Italians in the World War, but as they become known, the people of other nations realize that Italy has really worked wonders in her almost superhuman attempts to conquer, not only men, but nature as well. When the complete story is written of her struggles with avalanches, snow, frost, and enemy soldiers in the mountain passes, it will be one continuous record of heroic deeds.
D'Annunzio, although well over fifty years of age, and in most countries judged too old for actual warfare, has been one of Italy's most daring fighters. He was known throughout his native land by his writings, and his fiery, passionate pleas published in all Italian cities before Italy entered the war, helped his countrymen see the right and decide to fight for it.
As soon as Italy decided to join the Allies, D'Annunzio sought and was granted a post of great danger. He became an aviator, in the same corps with his son.
Austria, whenever possible, sent aviators over Venice and other Italian cities to drop bombs, although this warfare upon non-combatant women and children was contrary to international law. The Austrians, like the Germans, seemed to believe that it was wise for them to use any means to win.
In August, 1918, D'Annunzio commanded a flight of eight bombing airplanes over Vienna. It was a long-distance record for a squadron of planes. Leaving the Italian lines at half past five in the morning, they flew to Vienna and back, over six hundred miles, reaching home in about sixteen hours. It was necessary for them to fly very high, at about fifteen thousand feet, to cross the Alps and to escape the Austrian barrage. All the machines returned but one, which was obliged to land on account of engine trouble.
More than a million printed declarations, or statements, were dropped on Vienna to inform the Austrians of the real state of affairs. In Germany and Austria, the people were allowed to know only what their rulers thought would be good for them to know. D'Annunzio wanted to show them that Italians could drop bombs on Vienna if they desired to do so, or thought it right to do so.
The manifestoes, as they are called, were in German, and read as follows:
We Italians do not war upon women, children, and old men—but only upon your blind, obstinate, and cruel rulers, who cannot give you either peace or food, but try to keep you quiet with hatred and falsehood.
You are said to be intelligent. Why do you wear the uniform of Prussia? It is suicide for you to continue the war. The victory that would end the war promised to you by the Prussians is like the wheat they promised you from Ukraine. You will all die while waiting for it. People of Vienna, think for yourselves! Awake!
In February, 1918, D'Annunzio with twenty-nine companions set out on three small torpedo boats to destroy some Austrian warships discovered by an Italian aviator to be lying hidden in the Bay of Buccari. To get at them, it was necessary to steam past the Austrian fortifications. Discovery meant death.
It is not strange that D'Annunzio was the mastermind of this expedition, for he loves the sea, as he says, with all the strength of his soul. He was born on a yacht at sea and has written much about ships and the ocean. He has taken as his motto three Latin words, "Memento audere semper," which mean, "Remember always to dare."
As they steam away from the Italian shores, D'Annunzio talks to his brave companions. He says, "Sailors, companions, what we are about to do is a task for silent men. Silence is our trusty helmsman. For that reason I need not urge you with many words to be brave, for I know you are already eager to match your courage against the unknown danger. If I were to tell you where we are bound, you would hardly be able to keep from dancing for joy. We are only a handful of men on three small ships, but our hearts are stronger than the motors, and our wills can go further than the torpedoes.
"We carry with us, to leave for a souvenir for the enemy, three bottles sealed and crowned with the flaming tricolor of Italy. We will leave them to-night floating on the smooth surface of the bay amid the wreckage of the vessels we have struck."
Then D'Annunzio reads to them the letter which he has written and inclosed in each bottle, ridiculing the Austrians because they have hidden their ships safely behind the guns of the forts, and do not have courage to come out in the open sea. He says the Italians are always ready "to dare the undarable," and that they have come to make the enemy whom they hate most of all, the laughingstock of the world.
He goes on speaking to the sailors: "Because this thing that we attempt is so dangerous, we have already conquered Fate. To-morrow your names will be honored in all Italy, and will shine as golden as the torpedo. Therefore, every one to-day must give all of himself and more than all of himself, all of his strength and courage, and even more. Do you swear it? Answer me."
The sailors cry, "We swear it! Viva l'Italia!"
And D'Annunzio answers, "Memento audere semper."
They have been steaming for twenty-four hours and are now very near the enemy's guns guarding the entrance to the bay. The very audacity of the Italians seems to save them, for they steam on unchallenged, and when near enough, discharge a torpedo at the giant Austrian dreadnought. The ship is struck and all is excitement and confusion. Rockets are sent up to alarm and inform the forts. The Italian torpedo boats turn for home. D'Annunzio says, "The sky is starry, the sea is starry, and our hearts are starry, too."
One of their three ships is soon disabled and falls behind. The other two turn back to help her, and this is what probably saves them all; for the Austrian forts, seeing them sailing into the harbor, think they are Austrian vessels and do not fire upon them. When they steam out of the harbor, the forts think they are Austrian torpedo boats in pursuit of the Italians who must have escaped in the darkness. As D'Annunzio says, "Our very audacity has conquered Fate."
They sank one of the largest of the Austrian dreadnoughts, and then returned in safety to Italy.
It remained, however, for another Italian naval officer to outdo those who "dared the undarable" at Buccari. Lieutenant Luigi Rizzo, with two small motor patrol boats, succeeded in sinking two huge dreadnoughts protected by an escort of fast destroyers. His story of the encounter is as follows:
We were returning to our base just before dawn on July 10, 1918, after a night of dull, monotonous work along the enemy's coast, when I saw smoke coming from ships nearly two miles away. I thought we had been discovered and were being pursued. The only way I could know what we had to contend with was to get nearer the enemy, so I turned the two boats in my command toward the distant smoke.
Soon I discovered that it was two of Austria's largest dreadnoughts protected by a great convoy of destroyers. Evidently because we were so small, we had not been seen in the darkness; and although we were poorly armed, with only two large torpedoes for each of our two boats and eight smaller ones to throw by hand, we crept ahead until we were inside the line of the destroyers, and slowly and quietly approaching the dreadnoughts. I headed for one of them which proved to be the St. Stephen, and Lieutenant Aonzo, in charge of the other boat, made for the other, the Prince Eugene.
Then the watch on the dreadnoughts discovered us and began to fire at us with their small guns. How we escaped destruction is a miracle. Lieutenant Aonzo sent his first torpedo, and missed; but the second struck the giant fairly. Both of my torpedoes struck the St. Stephen.
After that all was confusion and excitement. We were fired upon and encircled by a muddled crowd of destroyers. I turned my boat to escape. A destroyer stood directly in my way and I veered off and almost touched the bow of the sinking St. Stephen in passing. The destroyers gave their attention to me and this allowed Lieutenant Aonzo to escape.
I saw that I would soon be overtaken, so I sent two torpedoes at the nearest destroyer. The first missed, but the second hit the mark. There was a tremendous explosion. The destroyer wobbled and began to turn over. I put on all power and escaped in the darkness.
The whole thing did not take over fifteen minutes. When we were sure of our escape, the five boys of my crew went nearly mad with joy, hugging, cheering, kissing, and crying in their excitement at what we had done. They hoisted our largest flag and trimmed our boat with bunting. A short way from us we could see that Lieutenant Aonzo was doing the same.
We knew the reception we would have when those at home learned the story, but we did not expect so much. The King decorated and honored us, the Admiralty gave us prize money, and the people added their contributions to it, for they declared we doubtless saved the city of Ancona from bombardment.
Lieutenant Rizzo was promoted to the rank of Commandant although not yet thirty years of age.
The St. Stephen sank where she was torpedoed. The Prince Eugene was able to make for home, but sank before she reached there, a short way from the Austrian coast. At the beginning of 1918, Austria had four of these giant dreadnoughts; on July 11, she had but one still floating.
As the centuries pass, the greatest glory of any nation, its highest satisfaction and pride, is in the works of art which it possesses. In each country there are works of art which have been preserved through many generations. They are the great inheritance of all the past ages. Every nation prizes this inheritance and wishes to hold it in safekeeping for still another generation; for into these creations of genius, men have put their souls.
If a famous inventor of machinery dies and the particular machine which he made is destroyed, there are yet other machines left, which have been made after his pattern, usually much better than the first one which he constructed.
While steamboats, railways, telegraphs, and automobiles are very useful, they are not so mysterious and individual but that they may be exactly copied and many, many duplicates be made and used by every country under the sun.
If all the music of the great composer Beethoven should be destroyed so that no copy remained in the world, there perhaps would be some master musicians of to-day who could remember and write down the notes, and so reproduce the wonderful compositions once more.
But there have been artists who have seen visions and dreamed dreams of God and heaven and the best and happiest things they had found in life. Such a one, with the power of his great genius, has made the dream into a picture, a painting, a statue, or a wonderful building, which no other person in the world is able to copy exactly. Indeed, there are many half-finished works which no artist, however great, has been able to complete. The creator has put into the work his soul, the best of all he thought and knew. So when many artists with their many dreams brought their finest works together into one place, it was certain that forever that place would be cherished and the wonder of it would belong to all people everywhere. While the artists have died long ago, their spirits, their very souls, seem alive to-day in the beautiful art works which they have left. It is for this reason that we speak of great artists who lived eight or nine hundred years ago, as if they were still living to-day, for their souls are alive in what they so wonderfully made. Those who look upon these works are mysteriously inspired to live better and happier lives themselves.
The loveliest art works in France are its Gothic cathedrals, and of them all, the Cathedral at Rheims was probably the most wonderful. No monument of ancient or modern times is more widely known to the world. It was built in the Middle Ages and expressed all the aspiration and faith of the people of that time. For seven hundred years it has been cherished for its great beauty, for the memory of the men who made it so beautiful, and for the sacred services which have been held in it. All the kings of France, except six, were crowned in it. One of the most striking services was the coronation of Charles VII, while Joan of Arc stood beside him with the sacred banner in her hands.
The cathedral held the works of many ancient artists. It was especially famous for its rose window, in which the figures of prophets and martyrs were glorified by the afternoon sun. Beneath the window was a magnificent gallery. Statues of angels, a beautiful statue of Christ, and one of the Madonna were to be found in this wonderful building. The stained glass windows were all very beautiful. Even the bells in the tower were famous.
With the excuse that the French were using the great towers of the old cathedral as observation posts, the Germans bombarded and destroyed the church. The roof was battered in and burned, the stained glass windows broken, the famous bells pounded into a shapeless mass of metal, and the wonderful statues and decorations hopelessly destroyed. Only the statue of Joan of Arc, in front of the cathedral, remained uninjured, as though to say, "I am the soul of France. You cannot injure or kill me." Afterwards the Germans bombarded the church a second time, attempting to tear down even the walls that were still standing.
Even savages in war respect sacred places, but the Germans deliberately aimed their guns at them. No excuse can ever be accepted by the civilized world for this deliberate destruction, and certainly the excuse cannot be accepted by military men that the act was due to bad marksmanship.
Other ancient churches were horribly damaged. The Germans stabled their horses in them, broke down the candelabra and statues, and carried away many valuable relics.
The burning of the University buildings at Louvain completely destroyed the treasures that had been preserved for centuries. Priceless manuscripts, paintings that can never be replaced, and valuable books in rare bindings were lost to the world.
The Germans scornfully but ignorantly declared, "Why should we care if every monument in the world is destroyed? We can build better ones." But the German idea of beauty is great strength and huge size. Their own public buildings and statues are often horrible in color, immense and awkward in appearance. They give people the impression of a fearsome brute spreading himself out before them. With few exceptions, there are no dainty figures and designs, nor any beautiful thoughts and feelings, as shown in the work of real artists.
The old cathedral at Rheims can never be restored. No one can ever bring back the old beauty and color; no one can revive those statues and paintings so that ever again they will seem to breathe forth the soul of the artists who fashioned them seven hundred years ago. The walls may be rebuilt, and artists of tomorrow may beautify them, but the spirit of the great men of the Middle Ages is gone—it has fled from the place forever. Thus the Germans, not content with killing the bodies of men, have in this way killed the souls of some of the greatest of the geniuses of the past. How can she pay the damage, or meet a fitting punishment?
What a peerless jewel was this cathedral, more beautiful even than Notre Dame in Paris, more open to the light, more ethereal, more soaringly uplifted with its columns like long reeds surprisingly fragile considering the weight they bear, a miracle of the religious art of France, a masterpiece which the faith of our ancestors had called into being in all its mystic purity.
The controller, as he is called on the Siberian railroad, was passing through the cars to see that every passenger had a ticket. He did not notice the mooshik, which is what the Russian peasant is called in his own language, hiding under one of the car seats with a large bundle in front of him; or if he saw him, he passed on without seeming to have done so.
The mooshik had given the brakeman a small sum of money, about fifty cents in our currency, to let him hide there whenever the controller came around, and in this way ride from Petrograd, or Petersburg as the Bolsheviki renamed it after the revolution, to Vladivostok, a distance of about four thousand miles.
Now this mooshik did not need to go to Vladivostok; but his Russian nature made him go, go somewhere, it made little difference where. He had been the year before to Jerusalem, but this was for religious reasons, and now he must go again for no reason except that from within came the impulse to travel, an impulse too strong to be denied. The Russian government did not attempt to discourage the people from traveling, but actually made it easier by fixing fares for long distances at very small amounts. This traveler did not have even that small amount, but he found it easy with a smaller one to bribe his way in Russia.
There is a society in Russia, whose members pledge themselves never to remain more than three days in any one place; and it is said that wealthy Russians, after their children have grown up, will often divide their property and with staff in hand spend the remainder of their lives in traveling from one holy place to another.
A dream, a vision, leads the wealthy man to do this, and perhaps this is true also of the mooshik; but it is as likely that he goes because of the reality, the real people, the real village, the real home that he leaves behind. He is uneducated, for only seven out of every hundred can read and write in Russia. He lives in a shed as filthy and bad smelling as a pig-pen, or rather he starves there, starves both for food and for comfort. Black bread, potatoes, and sometimes cabbage, make up his "balanced diet." He cannot afford money for meat, eggs, milk, butter, sugar, or any of the many other ordinary foods of the American home, nor for the light of lamp or candle.
It is not strange that such mooshiki constantly move on and have no love for their native place, and have never established an "Old Home Day." It is not so strange that their former Tsar, Peter the Great, said, "One can treat other European people as human beings, but I have to do with cattle." Are they not treated like cattle?
But it is strange that a Russian writer can say of these people, and say it with truth, "A Russian may steal and drink and cheat until it is almost impossible to live with him; and yet, in spite of it all, you feel a charm in him that draws you to him, and that there is something more in him, some good or promise of good, that raises him above the level of all other races you have ever met." It is strange that he is so religious, so pitying of others, and so critical of himself; that he has so many noble visions and dreams for which he is ready and willing to die.
Uneducated, with little or no respect for truth or honesty in their own dealings, with no experience in government, having always been robbed by the aristocracy, and now eager and willing in turn to rob them, but with dreams of a society of men where all crime and hardship and unnecessary suffering are abolished, where there are no grafters, no self-seekers, no wrong-doers, no conflict, no robbery, no war—these Russian mooshiki, workmen, soldiers, and sailors, as a result of a revolution, found themselves attempting to govern a nation nearly twice as large in population as the United States. There are indeed two problems before the world, to make the world safe for democracy, and to make democracy safe for the world.
History tells the story of many revolutions. The story of the American Revolution, which was an uprising of the American colonies against the mother country, and that of the French Revolution, in which the laborers and peasants and some others rose against the extravagant and autocratic rulers of France, are well known to Americans.
When the real character and aims of the German autocracy were made plain to the world, all free people hoped for and expected the World War to end in a revolution of the German people. But the mass of the German people are kept ignorant of what the rest of the world feels and thinks about them, and have so long been trained to unquestioning obedience that a German revolution can come, if ever, only after some unexpected and appalling German defeat.
It has been said that if, at the time the Russian revolution broke out, a few regiments of trained veteran soldiers had been in Petrograd, the revolution would have been put down by these soldiers, to whom obedience to commands of superiors had become second nature. Those on guard in the city were newly-formed regiments recently trained and taken into the service.
The Russian revolution of March 9-13, 1917, overthrew Tsar Nicholas and the Romanoff dynasty. The Tsar has since been shot, and his son and heir has died—from exposure, it was reported. When Tsar Nicholas succeeded his father on the throne of Russia, the Russian people rejoiced and felt certain better days were at hand, and that they should love and loyally support the new Tsar. He had his opportunity and he threw it aside. Instead of granting larger liberty and a greater part in the government to the common people when they petitioned for it, he replied, "Let it be known that I shall guard the autocracy as firmly as did my father." His father was as autocratic as the German Kaiser.
Tsar Nicholas was weak and fickle. He made promises when in trouble and refused to keep his promises when trouble seemed avoided. The Russian people were much disappointed in him, and every year their disappointment grew. Some dreadful massacres of workers at Jaroslav, of peasants in Kharkov, and of miners on the Lena changed their disappointment to hatred.
As the Tsar grew older he drew away from touch with the people, and lived in his palaces, leaving affairs of state to his ministers who were chosen from a small and selfish clique. They brought on the war with Japan, and its failure was due to them. When Russia was defeated, the people were on the brink of a revolution; but the Tsar promised them a constitution, and trouble was put off for a while. When the people were quiet again, he broke his word and did not give them a constitution. Instead, in every way possible, he lessened the power and freedom of the people, and took revenge upon those who had caused the trouble by having them arrested and exiled, or executed.
He was very much under the influence of his wife. She was even weaker in many ways than he was and seemed to be in the power of an ignorant and wicked peasant who claimed to be a monk and was called Rasputin, the Black Monk. His influence over the weak Tsar and the weaker Tsarina so angered and disgusted some of the young Russian leaders that finally they had him secretly put to death—but not until he had helped to set every one against Tsar Nicholas and his wife.
For a while after the World War broke out, matters seemed to be going better. The people wanted the influence of Germany destroyed, and they expected the Russian army would soon be in Berlin. But when defeat and disaster overwhelmed the armies through the treachery of government officials, the people began to turn and to condemn Rasputin, the Tsarina, and the Tsar. It is said that Rasputin had one of his friends serving as physician to the Tsar and that he kept Nicholas drugged. It hardly seems possible that this can be true, but at any rate, the Tsar seemed to show no sense in his dealing with the situation. Instead of appointing better ministers, he appointed worse ones, suggested by Rasputin. Every one became disgusted and felt that only a revolution would save Russia. If it had not come from the people, it would have come from the nobles. It was looked forward to by all, but not until after the war.
There was suffering everywhere in the capital, Petrograd. Living was very high. It was difficult to get enough to eat or to get carried from place to place. Steam trains and trolleys were few and irregular. Though there was plenty of food in Russia, the railroads were in such bad shape that it did not reach the capital. But the Russians were fighting Germany, and no one expected or seemed to desire a revolution until after the war. When it did come, it was not planned, but seemed to come as if by accident.
Trouble began in the factory districts, in connection with bread riots. Stones were thrown, and some damage was done to property. Then crowds gathered and marched up and down the streets crying for bread, singing revolutionary songs, and carrying red flags.
The police were not able to handle the situation alone, and the soldiers were called upon. These were Cossacks and recently trained. There was bad feeling between the police and the Cossacks, and so the Cossacks were inclined to listen to the people and to become friendly with them.
On Sunday, March 11, the factory hands planned to make a great demonstration. The Tsar, learning of it, ordered notices to be posted warning the people that if they gathered, the soldiers were ordered to fire upon them. A few people did gather, and they were fired upon by machine guns and several were killed. The next morning, the officers who had ordered the soldiers to fire upon the people were killed by their own men. Then notices were posted by the government saying that unless the rioters went to work, they would immediately be sent to the front.
Other regiments revolted, and there was a battle between these and the few who remained loyal to the government. It was not a serious battle; but some were killed and the loyal regiments were defeated. Then soldiers and people ran through the streets crying, "Down with the Government."
The Tsar was at the front. Had he been in Petrograd, he might have saved the government by making some new promises; but, as it was, it soon fell.
As soon as the government was overthrown and the Tsar taken prisoner, those who had long sought for a revolution and had been forced to flee from Russia, came rushing back from Switzerland, Greece, France, and the United States. They were the real leaders after they arrived.
An American who was in Petrograd at the time gives the following account of the revolution:
Their first demand was that all prison doors should be opened and that the oppressed the world over should be freed.
The revolution was picturesque and full of color. Nearly every morning one could see regiment after regiment, soldiers, Cossacks, and sailors, with their regimental colors, and bands, and revolutionary flags, marching to the Duma to take the new oath of allegiance. They were cheered; they were blessed; handkerchiefs were waved; hats were raised, as marks of appreciation and gratitude to these men, without whose help there would have been no revolution. The enthusiasm became so contagious that men and women, young and old, high and low, fell in alongside, or behind, joined in the singing of the Marseillaise, and walked to the Duma to take the oath of allegiance, and having taken it, they felt as purified as if they had partaken of the communion.
Another picturesque sight was the army trucks filled with armed soldiers, red handkerchiefs tied to their bayonets, dashing up and down the streets, ostensibly for the purpose of protecting the citizens, but really for the mere joy of riding about and being cheered. One of these trucks stands out vividly in my mind: it contained about twenty soldiers, having in their midst a beautiful young woman with a red banner, and a young hoodlum astride the engine.
No one knows, at the end of the fourth year of the World War, what the result of the Russian revolution will be. It has so far left Russia a prey to Germany, but Germany is showing such criminal greed and unfairness that she may find her easily gained plunder will be her destruction, like the drowning robber with his pockets filled with gold.
The Russian mooshik has a motto, or rather a philosophy, which is expressed by the word "nitchevo." This word has several meanings, one of which is "nothing." Just what the mooshik has in mind when he says "nitchevo" is illustrated by the following story.
When Bismarck was Prussian ambassador at the court of Tsar Alexander II, he was invited by the Tsar to take part in a great hunt, a dozen or more miles out of the capital.
Bismarck started with his own horses and sledge but soon met with a serious accident, and was obliged to call upon the Russian peasants, or mooshiki, to help him by providing a horse, sledge, and driver. Soon a peasant appeared with a very small and raw-boned horse attached to a sledge that seemed about ready to fall to pieces.
"That looks more like a rat than a horse," growled Bismarck, but he got into the sledge.
The peasant answered but one word, "Nitchevo."
Soon the horse was flying over the snow at a great rate of speed. There was no road to be seen and the peasant was heading for the woods. "Look out!" yelled Bismarck. "You will throw me out!" But the peasant replied, "Nitchevo."
In a moment they were among the trees and were turning, now this way, now that, to avoid hitting them. The raw-boned horse had not lessened his speed in the least. Suddenly there was a crash. The sledge had skidded and struck a tree. The peasant and his passenger were thrown out headlong.
Bismarck was a man of fiery temper. When he had picked himself up, he rushed up to the peasant, who was trying to stop his bleeding nose, and yelled, "I will kill you." The mooshik did not seem at all frightened or troubled, and answered simply, "Nitchevo." He drew a piece of rope from the sledge and began to tie the broken parts together.
"I shall be late at the hunt," yelled the angry Bismarck.
"Nitchevo," replied the peasant.
While the sledge was being repaired, Bismarck noticed a small piece of iron broken from the runner and lying on the snow. He picked it up and put it in his pocket.
The mooshik soon had the sledge ready for them, and this time he reached the hunting lodge with his distinguished passenger without further accident or delay.
The Tsar and his companions laughed heartily at the story, as related by Bismarck, and then explained to the Prussian that by nitchevo the mooshik meant that nothing mattered, that they would get where they had started for, if they did not let accidents or circumstances turn them from it.
When Bismarck returned to the capital he had a ring made from the piece of iron, and on the inside of it he had inscribed the word nitchevo.
The Russian mooshik of to-day is the same in character and belief as the mooshik that replied "Nitchevo" to Bismarck. To Germany, to the Kaiser, to the world, the Russians, amid all their sorrows and troubles, are saying "Nitchevo." They will reach their goal at length, for they look upon the dangers and delays as nothing.
The Russian word Bolsheviki, used to designate the revolutionary party which was in power in Russia in 1918, is composed of two words: bolsh, meaning many; and vik, meaning most. Bolsheviki means the greatest number, or the common people, as compared with the few, or the aristocracy. Bolshevik, with the accent on the first syllable, is the singular and means one of the greatest number. Bolsheviki, with accents on the second and on the last syllables, is the plural. Similarly mooshik means a peasant, and mooshiki means peasants.
A river is the most human and companionable of all inanimate things. It has a life, a character, a voice of its own; and is as full of good-fellowship as a sugar-maple is of sap. It can talk in various tones, loud or low; and of many subjects, grave or gay.
Henry van Dyke.
 COPYRIGHT BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
Sir William Osler, one of the greatest medical men in the world, told the soldiers in the English training camps that he wanted to help them to get a true knowledge of their foes. The officers had impressed the soldiers with the truth that it was always necessary to find out where their enemies were and how many they were. But Sir William Osier told them of other invisible enemies which they should most fear, and fight against. "While the bullets from your foes are to be dreaded," he said, "the bacilli are far more dangerous." Indeed in the wars of the world, the two have been as Saul and David,—the one slaying thousands, the other tens of thousands.
He continued, "I can never see a group of recruits marching to the depot without asking what percentage of these fine fellows will die from wounds, and what percentage will perish miserably from neglect of ordinary sanitary precautions. It is bitter enough to lose thousands of the best of our young men in a hideous war, but it adds terribly to the tragedy to think that more than one half of the losses may be due to preventable disease. Typhus fever, malaria, cholera, enteric, and dysentery have won more victories than powder and shot. Some of the diseases need no longer be dreaded. Typhus and malaria, which one hundred years ago routed a great English army in the expedition against Antwerp, are no longer formidable foes. But enough such foes remain, as we found by sad experience in South Africa. Of the 22,000 lives lost in that war—can you believe it?—the bullets accounted for only 8000, the bacilli for 14,000. In the long, hard campaign before us, more men will go into the field than ever before in the history of the Empire. Before it is too late, let us take every possible precaution to guard against a repetition of such disasters. I am here to warn you soldiers against enemies more subtle, more dangerous, and more fatal than the Germans, enemies against which no successful battle can be fought without your intelligent coöperation. So far the world has only seen one great war waged with the weapons of science against these foes. Our allies, the Japanese, went into the Russian campaign prepared as fully against bacilli as against bullets, with the result that the percentage of deaths from disease was the lowest that has ever been attained in a great war. Which lesson shall we learn? Which example shall we follow, Japan, or South Africa with its sad memories?
"We are not likely to have to fight three scourges, typhus, malaria, and cholera, though the possibility of the last has to be considered. But there remain dysentery, pneumonia, and enteric.
"Dysentery has been for centuries one of the most terrible of camp diseases, killing thousands, and, in its prolonged damage to health, it is one of the most fatal of foes to armies. So far as we know, it is conveyed by water, and only by carrying out strictly, under all circumstances, the directions about boiling water, can it be prevented. It is a disease which, even under the best of circumstances, cannot always be prevented; but with care there should never again be widespread outbreaks in camps themselves.
"Pneumonia is a much more difficult disease to prevent. Many of us, unfortunately, carry the germ with us. In these bright days all goes well in a holiday camp like this; but when the cold and the rain come, and the long marches, the resisting forces of the body are lowered, the enemy, always on the watch, overpowers the guards, rushes the defenses, and attacks the lungs. Be careful not to neglect coughs and colds. A man in good condition should be able to withstand the wettings and exposures that lower the system, but in a winter campaign, pneumonia causes a large amount of sickness and is one of the serious enemies of the soldier.
"Above all others one disease has proved most fatal in modern warfare—enteric, or typhoid fever. Over and over again it has killed thousands before they ever reached the fighting line. The United States troops had a terrible experience in the Spanish-American War. In six months, between June and November, among 107,973 officers and men in 92 volunteer regiments, 20,738, practically one fifth of the entire number, had typhoid fever, and 1580 died. The danger is chiefly from persons who have already had the disease and who carry the germs in their intestines, harmless to them, but capable of infecting barracks or camps. It was probably by flies and by dust carrying the germs that the bacilli were so fatal in South Africa. Take to heart these figures: there were 57,684 cases of typhoid fever, of which 19,454 were invalided, and 8022 died. More died from the bacilli of this disease than from the bullets of the Boers. Do let this terrible record impress upon you the importance of carrying out with religious care the sanitary regulations.
"One great advance in connection with typhoid fever has been made of late years, and of this I am come specially to ask you to take advantage. An attack of an infectious disease so alters the body that it is no longer susceptible to another attack of the same disease; once a person has had scarlet fever, smallpox, or chicken pox, he is not likely to have a second attack. He is immune. When bacilli make a successful entry into our bodies, they overcome the forces that naturally protect the system, and grow; but the body puts up a strong fight, all sorts of anti-bodies are formed in the blood, and if recovery takes place, the patient is safe for a few years at least against that disease.
"It was an Englishman, Jenner, who, in 1798, found that it was possible to produce this immunity by giving a person a mild attack of the disease, or of one very much like it. Against smallpox all of you have been vaccinated—a harmless, safe, and effective measure. Let me give you a war illustration. General Wood of the United States Army told me that, when he was at Santiago, reports came that in villages not far distant smallpox was raging, and the people were without help of any kind. He called for volunteers, all men who showed scars of satisfactory vaccination. Groups of these soldiers went into the villages, took care of the smallpox patients, cleaned up the houses, stayed there until the epidemic was over, and not one of them took the disease. Had not those men been vaccinated, at least 99 per cent of them would have taken smallpox.
"Now what I wish to ask you is to take advantage of the knowledge that the human body can be protected by vaccination against typhoid. Discovered through the researches of Sir Almroth Wright, this measure has been introduced successfully into our own regular army, into the armies of France, the United States, Japan, and Germany. I told you a few minutes ago about the great number of cases of typhoid fever in the volunteer troops in America during the Spanish-American War. That resulted largely from the wide prevalence of the disease in country districts, so that the camps became infected; and we did not then know the importance of the fly as a carrier. But in the regular army in the United States, where inoculation has been practiced now for several years, the number of cases has fallen from 3.53 per thousand men to practically nil. In a strength of 90,646 there were, in 1913, only three cases of typhoid fever. In France the typhoid rate among the unvaccinated was 168.44 per thousand, and among the vaccinated .18 per thousand. In India, where the disease has been very prevalent, the success of the measure has been remarkable.
"In the United States, and in France, and in some other countries, this vaccination against the disease is compulsory. It is not a serious matter; you may feel badly for twenty-four hours, and the place of inoculation will be tender, but I hope I have said enough to convince you that, in the interests of the cause, you should gladly put up with this temporary inconvenience. If the lessons of past experience count, any expeditionary force on the Continent has much more to fear from the bacillus of typhoid fever than from bullets and bayonets. Think again of South Africa, with its 57,000 cases of typhoid fever! With a million of men in the field, their efficiency will be increased one third if we can prevent typhoid. It can be prevented, it must be prevented; but meanwhile the decision is in your hands, and I know it will be in favor of your King and Country."
The soldiers in the American army are also inoculated against measles, scarlet fever, and the pneumonia germ.
Tetanus, or lockjaw, is one of the grave dangers faced by the wounded soldiers; for the germ of this disease has its home in the earth, and during a battle, soldiers with open wounds often lie for hours in the fields and trenches. Antitoxin treatment has reduced the death-rate.
Two new diseases have been produced by the World War,—spotted typhus and trench fever; both are carried by vermin. This was proved by soldiers who volunteered to permit experiments to be made upon them. By preventing and destroying the vermin, these diseases are being conquered.
The torch of valor has been passed from one brave hand to another down the centuries, to be held to-day by the most valiant in the long line of heroes. Deeds have been done in Europe since August, 1914, which rival the most stirring feats sung by Homer or Virgil, by the minnesingers of Germany, by the troubadours of Provençe, or told in the Norse sagas or Celtic ballads. No exploit of Ajax or Achilles excels that of the Russian Cossack, wounded in eleven places and slaying as many foes. The trio that held the bridge against Lars Porsena and his cohorts have been equaled by the three men of Battery L, fighting with their single gun in the gray and deathly dawn until the enemy's battery was silenced. Private Wilson, who, single-handed, killed seven of the enemy and captured a gun, sold newspapers in private life; but he need not fear comparison with any of his ancient and radiant line. Who that cares for courage can forget that Frenchman, forced to march in front of a German battalion stealing to surprise his countrymen at the bridge of Three Grietchen, near Ypres? To speak meant death for himself, to be silent meant death for his comrades; and still the sentry gave no alarm. So he gave it himself. "Fire! For the love of God, fire!" he cried, his soul alive with sacrifice; and so died. The ancient hero of romance, who gathered to his own heart the lance heads of the foe that a gap might be made in their phalanx, did no more than that. Nelson conveniently forgot his blind eye at Copenhagen, and even in this he has his followers still. Bombardier Havelock was wounded in the thigh by fragments of shell. He had his wound dressed at the ambulance and was ordered to hospital. Instead of obeying, he returned to his battery, to be wounded again in the back within five minutes. Once more he was patched up by the doctor and sent to hospital, this time in charge of an orderly. He escaped from his guardian, went back to fight, and was wounded for the third time. Afraid to face the angry surgeon, he lay all day beside the gun. That night he was reprimanded by his officers—and received the V.C.! Also there are the airmen, day after day facing appalling dangers in their frail, bullet-torn craft. Was there ever a stouter heart than that of the aviator, wounded to death and still planing downwards, to be found seated in his place and grasping the controls, stone-dead? Few eyes were dry that read the almost mystic story of that son of France who, struck blind in a storm of fire, still navigated his machine, obedient to the instructions of his military companion, himself mortally wounded by shrapnel and dying even as earth was reached.
There is no need to worship the past with a too-abject devotion, whatever in the way of glory it has been to us and done for us. Chandos and Du Guesclin, Leonidas and De Bussy have worthy compeers to-day. Beside them may stand Lance-Corporal O'Leary, the Irish peasant's son. Of his own deed he merely says that he led some men to an important position, and took it from the Huns, "killing some of their gunners and taking a few prisoners." History will tell the tale otherwise: how this modest soldier, outstripping his eager comrades, coolly selected a machine gun for attack, and killed the five men tending it before they could slew round; how he then sped onwards alone to another barricade, which he captured, after killing three of the enemy, and making prisoners of two more. Even officialism burst its bonds for a moment as it records the deed:
Lance-Corporal O'Leary thus practically captured the enemy's position by himself, and prevented the rest of the attacking party from being fired on.
The epic of Lieutenant Leach and Sergeant Hogan, who volunteered to recapture a trench taken by the Germans, after two failures of their comrades, is reading to give one at once a gulp in the throat and a song in the heart. With consummate daring they undertook the venture; with irresistible skill they succeeded, killing eight of the enemy, wounding two, and taking sixteen prisoners. In the words of the veteran of Waterloo, "It was as good fighting as Boney himself would have made a man a gineral for."
There are isolated incidents of this kind in every war; but in a thousand different places in France and Belgium the dauntless, nonchalant valor of Irishmen, Englishmen, Scotsmen, and Welshmen has shown itself. Did ever the gay Gordons do a gayer or more gallant thing than was done on the 29th of September, 1914, on the western front? Thirty gunners of a British field battery had just been killed or wounded. Thirty others were ordered to take their place. They knew that they were going to certain death, and they went with a cheery "Good-by, you fellows!" to their comrades of the reserve. Two minutes later every man had fallen, and another thirty stepped to the front with the same farewell, smoking their cigarettes as they went out to die—like that "very gallant gentleman," Oates, who went forth from Scott's tent into the blizzard and immortality. Englishmen can lift up their heads with pride, human nature can take heart and salute the future with hope, when the Charge of the Five Hundred at Gheluvelt is recalled. There, on the Ypres road to Calais, 2400 British soldiers, Scots Guards, South Wales Borderers, and the Welsh and Queen's Regiments held up 24,000 Germans in a position terribly exposed. On that glorious and bloody day the Worcesters, 500 strong, charged the hordes of Germans, twenty times their number, through the streets of Gheluvelt and up and beyond to the very trenches of the foe; and in the end the ravishers of Belgium, under the stress and storm of their valor, turned and fled. On that day 300 out of 500 of the Worcesters failed to answer the roll call when the fight was over, and out of 2400 only 800 lived of all the remnants of regiments engaged; but the road to Calais was blocked against the Huns; and it remains so even to this day. Who shall say that greatness of soul is not the possession of the modern world? Did men die better in the days before the Cæsars?
Not any one branch of the service, not any one class of men alone has done these deeds of valor; but in the splendid democracy of heroism, the colonel and the private, the corporal and the lieutenant—one was going to say, have thrown away, but no!—have offered up their lives on the altars of sacrifice, heedless of all save that duty must be done.
But greater than such deeds, of which there have been inspiring hundreds, is the patient endurance shown by men whose world has narrowed down to that little corner of a great war which they are fighting for their country. To fight on night and day in the trenches, under avalanches of murdering metal and storms of rending shrapnel, calls for higher qualities than those short, sharp gusts of conflict which in former days were called battles. Then men faced death in the open, weapon in hand, cheered by color and music and the personal contest, man upon man outright, greatly daring for a few sharp hours. Now all the pageantry is gone; the fight rages without ceasing; men must eat and sleep in the line of fire; death and mutilation ravage over them even while they rest. Nerves have given way, men have gone mad under this prolonged strain, and the marvel is that any have borne it; yet they have not only borne it, they have triumphed over it. These have known the exaltation of stripping life of its impedimenta to do a thing set for them to do; giving up all for an idea. The great obsession is on them; they are swayed and possessed by something greater than themselves; they live in an atmosphere which, breathing, inflames them to the utmost of their being.
There was a corner in the British lines where men had fought for days, until the place was a shambles; where food could only rarely reach them; where they stood up to their knees in mud and water, where men endured, but where Death was the companion of their fortitude. Yet after a lull in the firing there came from some point in the battered trench the new British battle-cry, "Are we downhearted?" And then, as we are told, one blood-stained specter feebly raised himself above the broken parapet, shouted "No!" and fell back dead. There spoke a spirit of high endurance, of a shining defiance, of a courage which wants no pity, which exalts as it wends its way hence.
Sir Gilbert Parker.
 FROM "THE WORLD IN THE CRUCIBLE." COPYRIGHT, 1915, BY DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY
A Great German philosopher said many years ago that history was the story of the struggle of the human race for freedom. Would the Huns conquer Europe and put back human liberty for hundreds of years? This was the question that was answered at the battle of the Marne in September, 1914, and the answer depended upon what General Foch was able to do with his army. It was necessary that he should attack, and General Joffre ordered him to do so.
General Foch did not reply that he was having all he could do to hold his own and to prevent his army from being captured or destroyed, although this was really the situation. He sent back to his commanding general a message that will never be forgotten, one that was in keeping with the maxim he had always taught his students in the military school, that the best defense is an offense: "My left has been forced back; my right has been routed; I shall attack with my center."
Foch is a man of medium height. His face is an especially striking one. He has the forehead of a thinker, with two deep folds between the eyebrows; he has deep-set eyes, a large nose, a strong mouth slightly hidden under a gray mustache, and a chin which shows decision and force. His whole face expresses great power of thought and will.
Before the war, he was a professor of military history. He was accustomed to outline to the young officers in his class a clear statement of a military situation, and the orders which had been followed. He would then call upon his pupils to decide what difficulties would arise and what the results would be. In this way, they learned to discover for themselves the solutions of many kinds of military problems.
Since Foch has been accustomed to this clear reasoning on all war problems, no military situation can surprise him. As a commander, he selects the goal to be reached, and the most skillful way of reaching it, and his men have confidence that he is right. This is what gives a commander the power to do things.
Marshal Joffre realized General Foch's ability and quickly advanced him.
After the First Battle of the Marne, it was necessary to appoint a commander for the French forces north of Paris, and it was very important to select one who had the initiative and the ability to check the German attempt to capture the Channel ports. The new commander must also be a man of great tact, for he would have to work with the British and the Belgians. General Foch was selected, and has proved to be the right man in the right place.
The race for the Channel ports was an exciting one. Although the Germans lost, it seemed at times as if they would win, and be able to establish submarine bases within a very short distance of England. In fact, if they had captured Calais, they could have fired with their long-range guns across the Channel and have bombarded English coast towns, and perhaps London itself.
Foch's decision and strength of purpose are well illustrated by an incident which is told by the French officers working under his command. He had sent some cavalry to protect the British army from being outflanked and disastrously defeated. At the close of the day, the cavalry commander reported to General Foch that he had been obliged to withdraw, as the Germans had been reënforced. "Did you throw all the forces possible into the fight?" asked General Foch. "No," answered the cavalry commander. "You will at once take up your old position and hold the enemy there until you have lost every gun," directed the general. "Then you will report to headquarters for further orders."
Foch is a leader who plans well, who knows how to command, and how to make others obey. His orders always end with the words, "Without delay!" Because the enemy has usually had larger numbers and more ammunition, time has been everything to the Allies. Foch saved time and so saved the Allies.
After his great victory at the Second Battle of the Marne, Foch was made a Marshal of France.
The Allies, in 1918, through the influence of President Wilson, it is said, decided to appoint a generalissimo, that is, one who should have direction of all the Allied forces on the west front, including those in Italy. Foch was appointed to this command, and from this time the German plans and campaigns began to go wrong. To this one man, who entered the French army in his teens, and who commanded at sixty-six the largest forces ever under one general, the successes of the Allies were due, more than to any other single individual, unless it be President Wilson.
Between July 15 and October, he had regained all the territory taken by the Germans in their great drives of 1918 and had driven the enemy out of the St. Mihiel salient which they had held since 1914. These victories were won not by hammer blows of greatly superior numbers but by generalship of the highest order and far superior to that of the German leaders.
It is true that Germany does not know the meaning of honesty and fair play. Most Americans, in everything, want "a square deal." They demand it for themselves, and a true American feels that the harshest thing that can be said of him is that he is not fair and square in his dealings. In any American school, a pupil who is deceitful is at once shunned by all the other boys and girls as a "cheat" and a "sneak." He has no place among them, least of all in their games and sports, for not to play according to the rules of the game is to upset and spoil the sport entirely.
In playing some of our great national games, like baseball and football, where the players are divided into teams, one player, by cheating, does not suffer for it himself alone, but his whole team has to pay the penalty. Indeed, if he persisted in being unfair, he would soon lose his place in the team for all time.
The Germans would not understand this, and they would not understand that the last half of the ninth inning in a ball game is seldom played because the winners do not wish to "rub in" the defeat of their opponents. Some think that it is because German children have had few sports and games that the German nation has so little sense of honesty and fair play.
In German schools, the pupils at one time were allowed to engage in certain sports, but later these were officially forbidden.
The rulers of Germany have for years forbidden anything taught in their schools which did not praise Germany and make the children believe their Emperor to be a god. The pupils are taught in history, geography, and even in reading, only those facts about other countries which show how much inferior they are to Germany.
So the pupils have never learned the true and the interesting things about other countries in the great wide world. German history tells only about Germany's great war victories. The pupils never learn of Germany's defeats in war. The teacher makes the history class the liveliest of the day, often seeming to be more of a Fourth of July orator than a school teacher. The children are taught that Germany is the one civilized country in the world; that there was never anything good that did not come from Germany; that even the victory of the North, in the Civil War in America, was due to there being such a large majority of German-born men on the Northern side.
Their geography tells only about Germany's political divisions, its civilization, and its commerce. Their readers contain stories of German military "heroes." The two great school holidays are the Emperor's Birthday and Sedan Day, the anniversary of the great defeat of the French in the Franco-Prussian War.
The walls of the schoolrooms are covered with pictures of the Emperor, the Empress, and of battle scenes, especially those showing German soldiers bringing in French prisoners. The singing of "Deutschland über Alles" occurs several times a day.
A German boy is trained into a soldier, hard-hearted and deceitful. The pupils in school are made to spy on one another, and the teachers, too, spy on one another. An American boy was expelled from a German gymnasium in Berlin, because he refused to "tattle-tale" on the pupils in his class.
The Germans have not been taught to respect the rights of others,—no one apparently has any personal rights except the Kaiser and certain high officials; and so great has been their power that they have been able to cheat the whole German nation, and they have attempted to cheat the other nations of the world.
Some years before the Spanish-American War, Germany began to show an unfair spirit toward the United States. Much ill-feeling existed between the two countries in their commercial relationships. There grew up among the aristocracy of Germany, especially among the landowners, an extremely hostile attitude toward the government in Washington. This hostility was first publicly shown by a remark reported to have been made by the Emperor at mess with a company of officers, to the effect that "it would not be too bad if America should very soon require Europe to teach her the proper place for her." This remark was afterward officially denied, with the addition that the Emperor's feeling for the United States was not hostile.
When, however, Prince Henry of Prussia, brother of the German Emperor, arrived on a government mission in Hongkong, it is said he gave a banquet to representatives from all the fleets in port. Commodore Dewey of the American fleet was present. After the dinner, Prince Henry called for the usual national toasts. There is a custom in the navy of calling upon the representatives of the different nations in a certain regulated and well-understood order. But when the time came to call for the toast to the United States, the Prince passed it by; he did this several times. Commodore Dewey, realizing that this was intentional on the part of Prince Henry, left the banquet. The next morning a messenger from the German prince brought the explanation that the act had been committed wholly by mistake, and was not meant as a discourtesy to the United States or her commander. Dewey thanked the messenger for his courteous manner in delivering his Admiral's word, but sent back the statement that such an incident called for a personal apology from the Prince. Very soon Prince Henry called in person and apologized, saying that the name of the United States had not been written in its proper order on the list which he followed in giving the toasts.
When war had been declared between the United States and Spain, and Commodore Dewey had received orders to "seek the Spanish fleet and destroy it," he set sail from Hongkong for Manila. Germany, according to announcements from Spain, was determined to prevent the bombardment of the city, because of German interests and German subjects there. After capturing the Spanish fortress which guarded Manila, it was necessary for Dewey to maintain a strict blockade against the city, lest Spanish reënforcements should arrive. No American troops or ships could reach him in less than six weeks.
In Manila Bay were warships of Great Britain, Russia, France, Japan, and Austria. These nations were content to send only one or two vessels, while from Germany there were five and sometimes seven. One of them, the Deutschland, was commanded by Prince Henry, and was heavily armed. In fact, in numbers and guns, the Germans were stronger than the Americans with their six small vessels.
There was one regulation common to all blockade codes, one which was always followed by the officers on every ship. It was that no foreign boats should move about the bay after sunset, without the permission of the blockade commander.
But the Germans sent launches out at night and in many ways violated the rules. When Dewey protested, they only sent them off later at night. They even gave the Spaniards many supplies. Then Dewey had to turn the searchlights on them and keep their vessels covered, to prevent any boat leaving at night without his knowledge.
This is particularly offensive to any naval commander, and the German Admiral, Von Diederichs, objected. The American commander was courteous but firm, and said that the United States, and not Germany, was holding the blockade.
Still the Germans persisted in moving their vessels so mysteriously that an American ship was sent to meet every incoming vessel to demand its nationality, its last port, and its destination. To the German flag lieutenant, who brought a strong protest against this order, Dewey said: "Tell Admiral von Diederichs that there are some acts that mean war, and his fleet is dangerously near those acts. If he wants war, he may have it here, now, or at the time that best suits him."
Von Diederichs answered that his actions were not intended to violate the rules, but he then went to the British commander, Captain Chichester, and asked whether he intended to follow such strict orders. The English captain suspected the German and answered, "Admiral Dewey and I have a perfect understanding in the matter." Then he added, "He has asked us to do just what he has asked of you, and we have been directed to follow his orders to the letter."
The English commander then sent a dispatch to Admiral Dewey, saying that his orders were just, his regulations fair, and that if the American commander felt unable to enforce them alone, he could depend upon the British fleet to assist him. It is understood that the British officer afterward informed Von Diederichs of what he had done, and the Germans strictly obeyed the rules and gave no further trouble.
Not many years ago, in 1911 in fact, while the United States was doing her best by Germany, the German government tried to injure and deceive her.
At that time Germany was also plotting against France, to make war upon her and to seize the whole country. Perhaps Germany knew that America would not allow such horrible crimes to succeed, and so sooner or later she would find herself at war with the United States.
Therefore Germany must think ahead, and plan some means of making the United States keep her ideas of justice to herself and let Germany do as she chose. German officials consulted together and said, "Mexico is a little country at the very southern tip of the United States, conveniently near the new waterway at Panama. We could do some damage there, with Mexico's help, and as a reward, Mexico might get back some of the states just over the border—New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona—which formerly belonged to her.
"Then Japan is across the sea from Mexico and the gold coast of the United States. Japan needs more land for her millions of people. She might as well take California and some of the islands near Panama. All this would keep America busy so that she could not hinder us from doing our will in France."
A press correspondent in Berlin, as early as February, 1911, sent the following word by cablegram:
The story was told here last night that Japan and Mexico have come to an understanding with each other against America, and that the United States, therefore, is secretly favoring the Mexican revolutionists led by Madero. To-day the report is published in several newspapers, even in the most trustworthy of them. The report says: "Since America obtained the Panama Canal, she has had an increasing interest in robbing Mexico and the Central American states of their independence."
According to the story, the present trouble has arisen because of Mexico's refusal to allow the United States to use Magdalena Bay as a coaling station. There must be some reason for publishing the story so widely. It is made much of by the jingo press, which warns the Central and the South American states to beware of ambitious political plans of the United States.
As this word was sent in time of peace, it was not censored, and while it did not at that time appear to be of great importance, it really meant that Germany was taking advantage of the civil war in Mexico to stir up antagonism between that country and the United States.
In American and German newspapers, stories were also printed hinting at bad feelings between the United States and the Japanese government, though no one seemed to know from whom the stories came. It was said that, before long, an American fleet would be forcing its way into Japanese waters, or the Japanese fleet would form in battle line somewhere along the coast of California.
In that same year, stories were publicly printed in American papers, intended to spread the belief that Japan and Mexico were especially friendly to Germany, and that they were interested in plotting together against the United States. These stories were so mysterious and mischievous that explanations from the different governments became necessary.
During the last week of February, 1917, there came into the hands of the State Department in America, a note from Alfred Zimmermann, German Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the German Minister in Mexico City. The American government had already urged the German government to cease submarine warfare, as it was not at all a fair method of fighting, but was, instead, entirely barbarous and contrary to international law. Germany, however, determined to wage unrestricted submarine warfare against England and her allies. Twelve days before the plan was finally announced, this note was sent to the German Minister in Mexico:
Berlin, Jan. 19, 1917.
On the 1st of February we intend to begin submarine warfare unrestricted. In spite of this, it is our intention to endeavor to keep neutral with the United States of America.
If this attempt is not successful, we propose an alliance on the following basis with Mexico:
That we shall make war together and together make peace. We shall give general financial support, and it is understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The details are left to you for settlement.
You are instructed to inform the President of Mexico of the above in the greatest confidence, as soon as it is certain that there will be an outbreak of war with the United States, and suggest that the President of Mexico, on his own initiative, should communicate with Japan suggesting adherence at once to this plan; at the same time offer to mediate between Germany and Japan.
Please call to the attention of the President of Mexico that the employment of ruthless submarine warfare now promises to compel England to make peace in a few months.
When all this became known to the American people, at first it was almost impossible for them to believe that Germany had been plotting against the United States, and for so long. Only the word of the President of the United States, saying that clear and sufficient evidence to prove it beyond dispute was in the hands of the government, could persuade them that Germany had been for years acting the "cheat" and the "sneak."
The first step taken by the American government was to ask Mexico and Japan to explain the many stories that had been circulated, and to tell whether they had agreed with Germany to war against the United States.
The people in this country waited anxiously to hear from Japan, for it would be denying the truth to say that the stories had not aroused suspicion. Japan answered just as the United States would have answered in her place, an answer that left no room for doubt. Not only did the Japanese Foreign Minister deny that Japan had been asked by Mexico or Germany to join against the United States, but he added more than is absolutely necessary in diplomatic circles; he added that even if such a proposal had come, it would have been rejected at once.
This is exactly such an answer as the United States would have given to any friendly country. The answer did more to bind the friendship between the two countries than many years of official visits and formal expressions of goodwill could possibly have done. The Japanese people were glad that such an answer had been sent by their government. In fact, the Japanese Ambassador in this country, in speaking of the matter said, "We cannot condemn the plot too strongly. Our Foreign Minister and Premier have expressed the feeling of the Japanese Government and the Japanese people. And it is not alone the government; but the people are back of the government in denouncing the intrigue. In one way it is unfortunate, because we do not feel flattered at the thought of being approached for such an object; but the incident, on the other hand, is certain to have the good effect of putting us in a true light before the world, and of binding our friendship with America. We have a treaty alliance with Great Britain, and owe allegiance to the Allied cause. In Japan we place above everything else our national honor, which involves faithfulness to our treaties."
Germany never supposed that she would be the means by which Japan and the United States, instead of being thrust further apart, would be drawn closer together. Germany dreamed a different sort of dream. Judging other nations by herself, she did not expect England to come to the aid of Belgium and France, and now she had made another mistake. She had set both Japan and Mexico down as the natural foes of the United States, waiting only for a favorable opportunity to strike.
The answer from Mexico was not so satisfactory as that from Japan. Villa, the famous Mexican bandit chief, when he conferred on the border with Major-General Scott as to the firing at Naco, it is said, had whispered to the American General a story of Japanese conspiracy in Mexico City. He claimed that the captain of a Japanese vessel in a Mexican port had spoken of the natural ties of friendship that should exist between Mexico and Japan, and had also spoken of the United States as the natural enemy to both countries. Villa had boasted loudly that, if war came between Japan and the United States, Mexico would be found fighting for her American neighbor. But later, when the United States recognized Carranza as ruler of Mexico and turned against Villa, the bandit chief hastened to seek aid against his "neighbor," from Tokio. Needless to say, he failed.
General Huerta's effort to start a new revolution in Mexico, after he returned to the United States from Spain, has been traced directly to the Germans. He, too, looked hopefully for aid from Japan, but was disappointed.
Before the United States had recognized the Carranza government, the Carranza officials displayed great affection for the Japanese Minister who had been sent to their country, and for Japan. But the government at Tokio knew that the display was merely made for American eyes, and carefully avoided any warm response. Thus has Zimmermann's scheme come to be called his "back-stairs policy" and "the plot that failed."
Thanks to the discovery of the Zimmermann plot, Japan and the United States understand each other better, and are growing more and more friendly. Mexico is keeping her troubles to herself and has all she can do in straightening out her own affairs. The boys and girls in America will hope, if baseball and football will teach the Mexicans to play fair, that these games and others like them will become as popular there as they are in the United States.
A man is a father, a brother, a German, a Roman, an American; but beneath all these relations, he is a man. The end of his human destiny is not to be the best German, or the best Roman, or the best father, but the best man he can be....
Though darkness sometimes shadows our national sky, though confusion comes from error, and success breeds corruption, yet will the storm pass in God's good time; and in clearer sky and purer atmosphere, our national life grow stronger and nobler, sanctified more and more, consecrated to God and liberty by the martyrs who fall in the strife for the just and true.
George William Curtis.
Because of Belgium, invaded, outraged, enslaved, impoverished Belgium. We cannot forget Liége, Louvain, and Cardinal Mercier. Translated into terms of American history, these names stand for Bunker Hill, Lexington, and Patrick Henry.
Because of France, invaded, desecrated France, a million of whose heroic sons have died to save the land of Lafayette. Glorious, golden France, the preserver of the arts, the land of noble spirit, the first land to follow our lead into republican liberty.
Because of England, from whom came the laws, traditions, standards of life, and inherent love of liberty which we call Anglo-Saxon civilization. We defeated her once upon the land and once upon the sea. But Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Canada are free because of what we did. And they are with us in the fight for the freedom of the seas.
Because of Russia—new Russia. She must not be overwhelmed now. Not now, surely, when she is just born into freedom. Her peasants must have their chance; they must go to school to Washington, to Jefferson, and to Lincoln, until they know their way about in this new, strange world of government by the popular will.
Because of other peoples, with their rising hope that the world may be freed from government by the soldier.
We are fighting Germany because she sought to terrorize us and then to fool us. We could not believe that Germany would do what she said she would do upon the seas.
We still hear the piteous cries of children coming up out of the sea where the Lusitania went down. And Germany has never asked the forgiveness of the world.
We saw the Sussex sunk, crowded with the sons and daughters of neutral nations.
We saw ship after ship sent to the bottom—ships of mercy bound out of America for the Belgian starving, ships carrying the Red Cross and laden with the wounded of all nations, ships carrying food and clothing to friendly, harmless, terrorized peoples, ships flying the Stars and Stripes—sent to the bottom hundreds of miles from shore, manned by American seamen, murdered against all law, without warning.
We believed Germany's promise that she would respect the neutral flag and the rights of neutrals, and we held our anger and outrage in check. But now we see that she was holding us off with fair promises until she could build her huge fleet of submarines. For when spring came, she blew her promise into the air, just as at the beginning she had torn up that "scrap of paper." Then we saw clearly that there was but one law for Germany, her will to rule.
We are fighting Germany because in this war feudalism is making its last stand against on-coming democracy. We see it now. This is a war against an old spirit, an ancient, outworn spirit. It is a war against feudalism—the right of the castle on the hill to rule the village below. It is a war for democracy—the right of all to be their own masters. Let Germany be feudal if she will. But she must not spread her system over a world that has outgrown it.
We fight with the world for an honest world in which nations keep their word, for a world in which nations do not live by swagger or by threat, for a world in which men think of the ways in which they can conquer the common cruelties of nature instead of inventing more horrible cruelties to inflict upon the spirit and body of man, for a world in which the ambition of the philosophy of a few shall not make miserable all mankind, for a world in which the man is held more precious than the machine, the system, or the State.
Secretary Franklin K. Lane, June 4, 1917.
In April, 1917, a small group of men in civilian dress climbed up the side of the ocean liner, the Baltic, just outside of New York harbor. Each one carried a suitcase or a hand-bag, which was his only baggage. They had come down the harbor through the fog and mist on a tugboat. These men were officers in the United States army, and among them were General Pershing and his staff—"Black Jack Pershing," as his men affectionately called him.
They were given no farewell at the dock, in fact their going was kept a profound secret; for should the Germans learn upon what liner the chief officers of the American army that was soon to gather in France, took passage, all their submarines would neglect everything else in attempting to sink this one vessel.
The officers reached England in safety, and made preparations for the great American armies that were soon to follow them. General Pershing was appointed commander of these armies. He had just come from service in Mexico, where he had led American troops in search of the outlaw, Villa.
General Pershing is a West Point graduate; but he narrowly escaped following another career, for he gained his appointment to West Point by only one point over his nearest competitor. He has made fighting his life work. We are all beginning to see that in the world as it is made up at present, some men must prepare for fighting and make fighting their life work. Universal peace must come through war, and many are hoping that it will come as a result of the World War. William Jennings Bryan and Henry Ford are among the world's leading advocates of universal peace. When the United States declared war, Bryan said, "The quickest road to peace is through the war to victory"; and Henry Ford turned over to the government his great automobile factories and gave his own services on one of the war boards, to make the war more quickly successful.
An interesting story is told us in the Dallas News of Pershing's school days at normal school, before he went to West Point. It shows that he never shunned a fight, if the rights of others needed to be defended.
An incident of the boyhood days of General John J. Pershing, illustrating how the principle for which the American general is leading this nation's armies against the hordes of autocracy—the square deal for every one—has always predominated in the American leader, was related yesterday by Dr. James L. Holloway of Dallas, who went to school with Pershing in Kirksville, Missouri, many years ago, and who during that period was an intimate friend of the General.
"When I arrived at Kirksville to attend the Normal School there, I was a green country boy," Dr. Holloway said, "and carried my belongings in a very frail trunk. The baggageman who was on the station platform was handling my trunk roughly, and when I remonstrated with him in my timid way, he merely pitched the trunk off the baggage wagon and laughed at me. When the trunk fell on the ground it broke open and scattered my things around on the platform. I indignantly told him that I would report the matter to the headquarters of the railroad in St. Louis, and again he laughed at me.
"I wrote the head of the baggage department, as I said I would, and later learned that the offending baggageman had been severely censured. Meanwhile I had struck up a strong acquaintance with Jack Pershing, who was a big, husky boy from a Missouri country town. I will always remember his broad forehead, his determined-looking jaw, and his steel gray eyes. He was a favorite among the boys at the Normal School, not so much on account of his mental brilliancy but because of his personal stamina.
"Two weeks after my encounter with the baggageman, Pershing and I walked down to the railroad station. It was on Sunday and the baggage office was closed. Pershing left me for a moment, and as I walked around a corner of the station I met the baggageman, who approached threateningly. 'You're the fellow who reported me to headquarters,' he said, bullying me. I admitted that I had. 'Well,' said the baggageman, 'I'm going to lick you good for it.' With these words he started toward me. At this juncture Pershing's big frame rounded the corner of the station.
"'What's the trouble, Holloway?' he asked. I told him the baggageman was threatening me with violence. 'He is, is he?' said Pershing. 'Well, we'll clean his plowshare for him right now.'
"I shall never forget this expression. The baggageman, seeing that he was no match for Pershing—let alone the two of us—left the scene of action. We didn't even have a chance to lay our hands on him.
"Six months after this occurred, Pershing was appointed to West Point. I have never seen him since."
For several years after his graduation from West Point, no promotion came to Pershing; but he was not idle nor soured by disappointment. He continued to study, especially military tactics. He became so well versed in this branch that he was sent to West Point to teach it.
When the Spanish-American War broke out, Pershing asked for a command, and was appointed first lieutenant with a troop of colored cavalry, and sent to Cuba. At the battle of El Caney he led his troops with such bravery and success that he was at once promoted and made a captain "for gallantry in action."
Then he went to the Philippines with General Chaffee. He performed much valuable service there. Perhaps the single deed by which his work there is best known is the lesson he taught the Sultan of Mindanao. The Sultan was a Mohammedan, and ruled over many thousand Malays. To kill a Christian was thought to be a good deed by the Sultan, and he was always glad of an opportunity to show his goodness. For three hundred years, he and his predecessors had escaped punishment by the Spaniards, who owned and ruled the islands.
The Sultan's chief village and stronghold could be reached only by passing through the dense and dangerous tropical jungles; and when it was reached, it was found to be surrounded by a wall of earth and bamboo, forty feet thick, and outside the wall by a moat fifty feet wide. It does not seem so strange that the Spaniards had done nothing.
But Pershing cut a path through the jungles and reached the Sultan's village, and informed him that there must be no more murders of Christians. The Sultan was very pleasant, in fact he laughed at the young American captain.
Soon word came to American headquarters that the Sultan had caused the death of another Christian missionary. In forty-eight hours most of the earth and bamboo wall was in the moat, and the Sultan's village was destroyed. In less than two years, Pershing established law and order in all of western Mindanao.
He was also in command of the troops sent to the Border and into Mexico after the outlaw, Villa. The soldiers with him there always recall his constant advice, "Shoulders back, chin up, and do your best."
General Pershing is a man who has never feared obstacles, and has never hesitated to give the time and labor necessary to overcome them. That there is no easy path to greatness and success, but that both will come to him who prepares himself, who works, who sticks at it, who is brave and sacrificing—this is the lesson of General Pershing's life and work.
Shortly after General Pershing reached France, the French people celebrated the birthday of Lafayette; and General Pershing visited the tomb of the great French patriot, to place there a wreath in token of America's gratitude. A large number of French people were gathered there, and every one supposed General Pershing would make a speech—that is, every one except General Pershing. When he was called upon, he was dumfounded, but at last he said, "Well, Lafayette, we are here." That was all.
Could he have said more if he had talked an hour? He said, "Lafayette, your people now need us. We have not forgotten. Here we are, and behind us are all the resources of the wealthiest and most enterprising nation in the world, billions of dollars and millions of men. We are only the first to arrive to pay the debt we have owed to you for one hundred and forty years, but here we are at last."
It is said that men and women wept aloud as the full significance of the words and all they meant for France became clear to them.
America has been called the "crucible" or the "melting pot" of nations, because many peoples of many races and many countries come together here, and in the heat of life and struggle are molded into Americans. President Wilson said, in a speech at Cincinnati in 1916, "America is not made out of a single stock. Here we have a great melting pot."
As soon as we entered the war against Germany, the question arose in the minds of most people as to how the large number of Germans in the United States would act. Germany had taught them that even though they became naturalized and took the oath of allegiance as American citizens, such action was not binding, but was like "a scrap of paper" to be destroyed and forgotten whenever necessity demanded, and that "once a German" meant "always a German." It seems now that Germany actually expected the Germans, who had left their native land to seek opportunity, freedom, and citizenship under the Stars and Stripes, to fight against their new and adopted home; but events have proved that most German-Americans have higher ideals of right. A leading German-American has written a book entitled "Right before Peace"; its title carries the thought that has guided most of his fellow-countrymen and their children in the United States during the World War.
A few months after the United States had declared that a state of war existed with Germany, many leading men of this country of foreign birth and parentage, signed, with others, a declaration drawn up by Theodore Roosevelt. This declaration, somewhat abbreviated but not altered in thought, is as follows. It makes very clear what America should mean to her adopted children.
We Americans are the children of the crucible. We have boasted that out of the crucible, the melting pot of life, in this free land, all the men and all the women who have come here from all the nations come forth as Americans, and as nothing else, like all other Americans, equal to them, and holding no allegiance to any other land or nation. We hold it then to be our duty, as it is of every American, always to stand together for the honor and interest of America, even if such a stand brings us into conflict with our fatherland. If an American does not so act, he is false to the teachings and the lives of Washington and Lincoln; he has no right in our country, and he should be sent out of it; for he has shown that the crucible has failed to do its work. The crucible must melt all who are cast into it, and it must turn them out in one American mold, the mold shaped one hundred and forty years ago by the men who, under Washington, founded this as a free nation, separate from all others. Even at that time, these true Americans were of different races; Paul Revere and Charles Carroll, Marion, Herkimer, Sullivan, Schuyler, and Muhlenberg were equals in service and respect with Lighthorse Harry Lee and Israel Putnam. Most of them, however, were of English blood, but they did not hesitate to fight Great Britain when she was in the wrong. They stood for liberty and for the eternal rule of right and justice, and they stood as Americans and as nothing else.
So must all Americans of whatever race act to-day; otherwise they are traitors to America. This applies, especially to-day, to all Americans of German blood who, in any manner, support Germany against the United States and her Allies.
Many pacifists have during the last three years proved themselves the evil enemies of their country. They now seek an inconclusive peace. In so doing they show themselves to be the spiritual heirs of the Tories, who, in the name of peace, opposed Washington, and of the Copperheads, who, in the name of peace, opposed Lincoln. We look upon them as traitors to the Republic and to the great cause of justice and humanity. This war is a war for the vital interests of America. When we fight for America abroad, we save our children from fighting for America at home beside their own ruined hearthstones. To accept any peace, except one based on the complete overthrow of Germany as she is under the ideals of Prussia and the Hohenzollerns, we believe would be an act of baseness and cowardice, and a betrayal of this country and of mankind.
The test of an American to-day is service against Germany. We should put forth as speedily as possible every particle of our vast, lazy strength to win the triumph over Germany. The government should at once deal with the greatest severity with traitors at home.
We must have but one flag. We must also have but one language. This must be the language of the Declaration of Independence, of Washington's Farewell Address, and of Lincoln's Gettysburg Speech.
Of us who sign, some are Protestants, some are Catholics, some are Jews. Most of us were born in this country of parents born in various countries of the Old World—in Germany, France, England, Ireland, Italy, the Slavonic and the Scandinavian lands; some of us were born abroad; some of us are of Revolutionary stock. All of us are Americans, and nothing but Americans.
I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable, established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.
I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend it against all enemies.
 COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY E.J. WYATT, BALTIMORE.
Although I am an American, I am still in the French aviation corps, in which I enlisted when the war broke out. I am too old for service under the Stars and Stripes, but not too old to risk my life under the French flag for the freedom of the world.
I was trained in a French aviation school. Flyers were needed immediately; and so I did not go through "a ground school," or any teaching like that given for eight weeks in the American ground schools. I was sent directly to the flying field and given a machine at once. I did not, as they do at American flying fields, go up first with an instructor who might be tempted to "scare me to death" by "looping the loop" or doing "tail spins." I took my own machine at the very start and, after being given the simplest directions, away I went in it; but I did not break any records for altitude.
It was a small monoplane with a 20-horse-power motor, and its wings had been clipped; so all it could do was to roll along the ground. It was, however, some time before I could guide it in a straight line. I was discouraged at first, but felt better when I learned that it was very difficult even for an experienced flyer.
Such machines are called "penguins" and have a trick of turning suddenly in a short half circle and smashing the end of a wing against the ground. The queer antics of beginners in them furnish fun for every one on the flying fields.
After I had mastered this machine, I was given one with a motor of greater horse power, and in this I could fly along the ground at nearly sixty miles an hour; but I could not rise into the air, for the wings were clipped and did not have sufficient sustaining power to hold the machine in the air.
Then at last I was given a plane with full-sized wings; but, as its motor generated only about 25-horse power, I could get only from three to six feet above the ground, and went skimming along now on the ground and now a few feet in the air.
In these machines, we learned only how to manage the tail of the machine. As we skimmed along the ground, we tipped the tail at an angle slightly above a straight line. In a few moments we were off the ground, and the roar of the motor sounded softer and smoother. It seemed as if we were very far from the earth, and that something might break and dash us to our death—in reality, we had not risen six feet. To get back to earth, we must push the lever that lowers the tail—but this must be done very slightly and very carefully. A little push too much, and the machine will suddenly dive into the ground.
After my experience with the first two machines, I found it easy to handle this one, and was soon given one that would take me up about fifty feet and give me a chance to learn the "feel of the air." All my flying was still in straight lines, or as nearly straight as I could make it. We were not yet allowed to try to turn.
In the next machine I could rise two or three hundred feet and began to learn to turn, although most of the flying was still in straight lines.
I was beginning to make good landings, which is the hardest part of the game. We have to let the ship down on two wheels and let the tail skid at a speed of thirty-five miles an hour and not break the landing gear.
The machines often bound three or four times when landing and that is hard on the landing gear. My last landing was so soft that I was not sure when I touched the ground. To take off is quite easy. The ship is controlled by an upright stick which is between one's knees and just right for the left hand. The rudder is controlled by the feet, and the throttle is on the right side. To take off, we get up a speed of about forty-six miles per hour and raise the tail up until the ship is level, and then when she starts to rise, lift the nose just a little and climb slowly.
On turns, the ship has to be banked, tipped up with the inside wing low, and turned with the rudder. It is quite a hard thing to do when it is rough, as just about the time we bank, we get a puff of wind which will hit one wing and she will roll and rock so that we have to get her straightened out. It is a fight all the time until you get about 3000 feet up, when the air gets steady.
To land, we slow the engine down to idling speed and come down in a steep glide until five or six feet from the ground, then level off and glide along until she begins to settle, then jerk the tail down until she stops. We always have to take off and come down against the wind.
I was obliged to follow the directions of my instructor, much against my own wishes. It seemed to me that I could now do anything in the air and that there was not the slightest danger. This too early feeling of mastery is the cause of many beginners' being injured or killed, by trying "stunts" too difficult for them.
I did not spend much time in flying at first, after I had learned how to handle the airplane. It is not difficult to stay in the air and to fly, but it is difficult to land safely without breaking the machine. So I was kept practicing landing.
To secure my license I was required to fly 50 miles in a straight line to a named place, and then back; then to fly 200 miles in a triangle, passing through two named places; and last of all to stay one hour in the air at an altitude higher than 7000 feet.
Now the French schools require only a 30-mile flight with three successful landings, before sending the flyer to the finishing school, where he learns to do all the "stunts" that a fighter must be able to do in order to succeed. I learned the tail wing slip, the tail spin and dive, the vrille, to loop the loop, and many other fancy flying tricks. They have saved my life more than once.
I was interested in reading the other day James Norman Hall's funny description of how he learned at last to master the penguin. He felt triumphant, but he says, "But no one had seen my splendid sortie. Now that I had arrived, no one paid the least attention to me. All eyes were turned upward, and following them with my own, I saw an airplane outlined against a heaped-up pile of snow-white cloud. It was moving at tremendous speed, when suddenly it darted straight upward, wavered for a second or two, turned slowly on one wing, and fell, nose-down, turning round and round as it fell, like a scrap of paper. It was the vrille, the prettiest piece of aërial acrobatics that one could wish to see. It was a wonderful, an incredible sight.
"Some one was counting the turns of the vrille. Six, seven, eight; then the airman came out of it on an even keel, and, nosing down to gather speed, looped twice in quick succession. Afterward he did the retournement, turning completely over in the air and going back in the opposite direction; then spiraled down and passed over our heads at about fifty meters, landing at the opposite side of the field so beautifully that it was impossible to know when the machine touched the ground."
There is nothing in all the experiences of life like what one feels in flying through the air, especially at a great height and with no other machines in sight. There is a loneliness, unlike any other kind of loneliness; there is a feeling of smallness and weakness; a sense of the immensity of things and of the presence and nearness of God. It is surprising that in doing that in which man has shown his greatest power over the forces of Nature, he feels most his littleness and how easily he could be destroyed by the very forces he has conquered.
Lieutenant Roberts, an American flying in France, described not long ago an experience that came just after his first flight. He was up in the air, higher than anybody had ever been before, when the machine suddenly broke into little pieces, which, as he was tumbling down through the air, he vainly tried to catch. Just as he hit the ground and broke every bone in his body, he woke up on the floor beside his bunk.
The Englishmen are the most daring of all the flyers, take the most risks, and do the most dangerous "stunts." Not so much is heard of them because their exploits and their scores are not announced by the British army. Bishop, who has just been ordered from the flying field to safer work, is said to have brought down nearly eighty German planes, and on the day he learned of his recall, went up and brought down two.
The Americans are daredevils, too. I took one of them one night as a "guest," when I went over Metz on a bombing expedition. One of the bombs stuck. He thought it might cause us trouble when we landed, possibly explode and kill us, so he crawled out over the fusilage and released it. He certainly earned his passage.
With several other Americans we formed what we called the American Escadrille; but as the United States was neutral at that time, we were obliged to change the name to the Lafayette Escadrille.
Since joining the squadron, I have used all sorts of machines, and there are many of them, from the heavy bombing machine to the swift little swallow-like scouts.
My first important work was reconnoissance, in which I carried an observer. I managed the machine, and he did the reconnoitering. We went out twice a day and flew over into German territory, sometimes as far in as fifty miles, observing all that was going on, the movements of troops and supplies, and the building of railroads and defensive works. We also took photographs of the country over which we flew.
Reconnoissance is dangerous work, and is constantly growing more so, as anti-aircraft guns are improved. These guns are mounted on a revolving table, upon which is a mirror in which the airplane shows as soon as it comes within range of the gun. With an instrument designed for the purpose, the crew get the flyer's altitude; and with another, the rate at which he is traveling. They aim the gun for the proper altitude, make the correct allowance for the time it will take the shell to reach him, and as they have an effective range of over 30,000 feet, there is reason to worry. Yet by zig-zagging and other devices, the aviators are rarely brought down by anti-aircraft guns. The small scout machines with a wing spread of not more than thirty feet are not visible to the naked eye when at an altitude of over 10,000 feet, and are therefore safe from these guns at this height.
But reconnoissance, to be effective, must be done at a much lower altitude, and sometimes the machine must remain under fire for a considerable period of time. Poiret, the French aviator, fighting with the Russians, with a captain of the General Staff for an observer, was under rifle and shell fire for about twenty minutes. His machine was up about 4000 feet. Ten bullets and two pieces of shell hit his airplane, but he never lost control. The captain was shot through the heel, the bullet coming out of his calf; but he continued taking notes. They returned in safety to their lines.
I also did some work in directing artillery fire. For this my machine was equipped with a wireless apparatus for sending. No method has yet been devised whereby an airplane in flight can receive wireless messages. In directing the fire of the big guns, the aviator seeks to get directly over the object that is under fire, and to signal or send wireless messages in regard to where the shells land. After the aviator is in position, the third shot usually reaches the target.
I am not yet one of the great aces, and will not, therefore, tell you about any of my air battles. I hope some day you may read of them and that I may come to have the honor of being named with Lufbery, Guynemer, Nungesser, Fonk, Bishop, Ball, Genét, Chapman, McConnell, Prince, Putnam, and other heroes of the air.
Lieutenant R.A.J. Warneford, who won the Victoria Cross for destroying a giant Zeppelin, is one of the greatest of these; at least, he performed a feat never accomplished before and never since.
At three o'clock one morning in June, 1915, he discovered a Zeppelin returning from bombing towns along the east coast of England. The Huns shot Captain Fryatt because, as they said, he was a non-combatant and tried to defend himself. The rule that non-combatants should not attack military forces was made with the understanding that military forces would not war on non-combatants. But law, or justice, or agreements never are allowed by the Huns to stand in their way. This Zeppelin was returning from a raid in which twenty-four were killed and sixty seriously injured, nearly all women and children, and all non-combatants.
Lieutenant Warneford well knew of the dastardly deeds of the Zeppelins, and he immediately gave chase, firing as he approached. The Zeppelin returned his shots. He mounted as rapidly as possible so as to get the great gas-bag below him, until he reached over 6000 feet and the Zeppelin was about 150 feet directly below him. Both were moving very rapidly, and to hit was exceedingly difficult, but he dropped six bombs, one after the other. One of them hit the Zeppelin squarely, exploded the gas-bag, and set it afire its entire length. The explosion turned Lieutenant Warneford's airplane upside down, and although he soon righted it, he was obliged to land. He was over territory occupied by the Germans and he landed behind the German lines, but he succeeded in rising again before being captured, and returned to his hangar in safety, to tell his marvelous story. The Zeppelin and its crew were completely destroyed. A few days later Lieutenant Warneford was killed.
One of the greatest air duels, between airplanes, was during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. At that time Immelman was as great a German ace as were Boelke and Richthofen later, and Ball was the greatest of the English.
One morning Ball learned that Immelman was stationed with the Germans on the opposite line, and carried him a challenge which read:
Captain Immelman: I challenge you to a man-to-man fight to take place this afternoon at two o'clock. I will meet you over the German lines. Have your anti-aircraft guns withhold their fire while we decide which is the better man. The British guns will be silent.
Ball dropped this from his airplane behind the German lines, and soon afterward Immelman dropped his answer behind the British lines:
Your challenge is accepted. The German guns will not interfere. I will meet you promptly at two.
A few minutes before two, the guns ceased firing, and all on both sides fixed their eyes in the air to witness a contest between two knights that would make the contests of the days of chivalry seem tame.
Copyright by Underwood & Underwood, N.Y.
A Battle in the Air
The French plane at the top is maneuvering for position preparatory to swooping down on its German adversary.
In an air battle, the machine that is higher up is thought to have the advantage. Both Ball and Immelman went up very high, but Ball was below and seemed uncertain what to do. The British were afraid that he had lost his nerve and courage when he found himself below, for he made no effort to get above his opponent, but was flying now this way and now that, as if "rattled."
Immelman did not delay, but went into a nose dive directly towards the machine below, which he would be able to rake with his machine gun as he approached; but just at the proper moment, Ball suddenly looped the loop and was directly above the German, and in position to fire. As the shower of bullets struck Immelman and his machine, it burst into flames and dropped like a blazing comet.
Ball returned to his hangar, got a wreath of flowers, and went into the air again to drop them upon the spot where Immelman had fallen dead.
Four days later Ball was killed in a fight with four German planes, but not until he had brought down three of them.
But the fighting planes do not get all the thrills in the air. A young English aviator and his observer who were directing artillery fire in September, 1918, showed as great devotion and courage as any ace and lived through as exciting an adventure as ever befell a fighting plane.
They were flying over No Man's Land to get the proper range for a battery which was to destroy a bridge of great value to the Huns. Their engine had been running badly and back-firing. They would have returned home had their work been of less importance.
Suddenly the pilot smelled burning wood, and looking down, saw the framework near his feet blackened and smoldering. It had caught fire from the backfire of the engine and the exhaust, but was not yet in a decided blaze. He turned off the gas and opened the throttle. Then he made a steep, swift dive, and the powerful rush of the air put the fire out.
Then he hesitated, trying to decide whether to "play safe" and go home or whether to continue their work until the battery had secured the exact range. He knew that in a very short time and with a little more observation, their work would be completely successful. So he turned to the observer and asked him what he thought. The observer leaned over and examined the damage near the pilot's feet. It did not look very bad; so he shouted, "Let's carry on."
Up they went again and in a short time had shells from the battery falling all about the bridge, which was soon destroyed. Their work was done, and well done. In the excitement they had forgotten the bad engine until they heard it give one last sputter and stop.
Then they perceived the woodwork was on fire again and really blazing this time. To dive now would only fan the flames about the pilot's feet, but they must get to the ground, and get there quickly, too.
The pilot put the machine into a side slip toward the British line. This fanned the flames away from his feet. The observer squirted the fire extinguisher on the burning wood near the pilot's feet, and thus enabled him to keep control of the rudder bar.
They were now within fifteen hundred feet of the ground, but the heat was almost unbearable. The right wing was beginning to burn. Down, down, they went, and luckily towards a fairly good landing place. One landing wheel struck the ground with such force that it was broken off, and the airplane bumped along on the other for a short distance until it finally crashed on its nose and left wing.
Both pilot and observer were unhurt. They sprang to the ground and hurried away from the burning wreck just in time, for a few seconds later the gasoline tank exploded. They looked at each other without a word, but neither of them regretted that he had stayed up until the job had been finished.
Such is the life and the danger of the flyers; but thousands of the finest young men of all the nations at war eagerly seek the service, for the aviators are the eyes of the armies and will determine always more than any other branch which side shall be finally victorious.
As England and the world lost Rupert Brooke, so America and the world lost Alan Seeger. English poetry and lovers of beauty expressed in verse are losers to a greater extent than we can ever know.
It is not strange that these two young poets should have enlisted at the very beginning of the war, for they recognized what high-minded men mean by noblesse oblige. Much having been given you, much is expected from you. Those of the highest education should show the way to those less favored. So Rupert Brooke enlisted in the English navy, and Alan Seeger enlisted in the French army as one of the Foreign Legion.
He felt he owed a debt to France that could only be paid by helping her in her struggle for life and liberty. He gave his life, at the age of twenty-eight, to pay the debt.
Alan Seeger lived a life like that of many other American boys. At Staten Island where he passed his first years, he could see every day the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, the skyscrapers of New York, the ferry boats to the Jersey shore, the great ocean liners inward bound and outward bound,—all the great and significant things that say "America" to one landing for the first time at the greatest seaport of the world. Later he lived in New York and attended the Horace Mann School. His vacations were spent among the hills and mountains of New Hampshire and in southern California. He fitted for college at a famous preparatory school at Tarrytown on the Hudson, attended Harvard College, and after graduation lived for two years in New York City. All this is American, and thousands of other American boys have passed through the same or a similar experience.
Alan Seeger was romantic. So are most boys. But with most boys, romance goes no further than books and dreams. "Robinson Crusoe," "Huckleberry Finn," "Treasure Island," and other tales of adventure and of foreign lands are all the romance that many know. But, like Rupert Brooke, Alan Seeger had the opportunity to live romance, as he always declared he would do. He found it in his life as a boy in Mexico, as a young man in Paris, and in the Foreign Legion of the French army. The Foreign Legion was made up of foreigners in France who volunteered to fight with the French army. Its story is a stirring one of brave deeds and tremendous losses. To have belonged to it is a great glory.
Alan Seeger enjoyed life and found the world exceedingly beautiful. He says,
Like Rupert Brooke, he thought often of Death, which he feared not at all. In his beautiful poem entitled, "I Have a Rendezvous with Death," he looked forward to his own death in the spring of 1916. He lost his life on July 4 of that year while storming the village of Belloy-en-Santerre. The first two stanzas are as follows:
Alan Seeger has written two poems that all Americans should know. One is entitled "Ode in Memory of the American Volunteers Fallen for France." It was to have been read before the statue of Lafayette and Washington in Paris, on Memorial Day, 1916; but permission to go to Paris to read it did not reach Seeger in time, to the disappointment of him and many others. It is perhaps the best long poem Seeger has written, although "Champagne, 1914-15" is by many ranked ahead of it.
"A man is judged and ranked by that which he considers to be of the greatest value. Some men believe it is knowledge, and spend their lives in study and research; some think it is beauty, and vainly seek to capture it and hold it in song, poem, statue, or painting; some say it is goodness, and devote their lives to service, self-denial, and sacrifice; some declare it is life itself, and therefore never kill any creature and always carefully protect their own lives from disease and danger; and some are sure it is being true to the best knowledge, the greatest beauty, the highest good that one can know and feel and realize; for this alone is life, and times come when the only way to save one's life is to lose it."
 BASED ON POEMS OF ALAN SEEGER, COPYRIGHT HELD BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS.
After England had entered the war against the Central Powers, Gilbert Murray, an English writer, asked this question and answered it by saying "Yes," and giving his reasons.
He had always favored peace. He hated war, not merely for its own cruelty and folly, but because it was an enemy of good government, of friendship and gentleness, and of art, learning, and literature.
Yet he believed firmly that England was right in declaring war against Germany on August 4, 1914, and that she would have failed in her duty if she had remained neutral. France, Russia, Belgium, and Serbia had no choice. They were obliged to fight, for the war was forced upon them. Germany did not wish to fight England; but after carefully looking over the whole matter, England, of her own free will, declared war. She took upon her shoulders a great responsibility. But she was right.
With a few changes in the wording and some omissions, the argument of Gilbert Murray is as follows:
"How can such a thing be? It is easy enough to see that our cause is right, and that the German cause is wrong. It is hardly possible to study the official papers issued by the British, the German, and the Russian governments, without seeing that Germany—or some party in Germany—had plotted this war beforehand; that she chose a moment when she thought her neighbors were at a disadvantage; that she prevented Austria from making a settlement even at the last moment; that in order to get more quickly at France she violated her treaty with Belgium. Evidence shows that she has carried out the violation with a cruelty that has no equal in the wars of modern and civilized nations. Yet there may be some people who still feel doubtful. Germany's wrong-doing they think is no reason for us to do likewise. We did our best to keep the general peace; there we were right. We failed; the German government made war in spite of us. There we were unfortunate. It was a war already on an enormous scale and we decided to make it larger still. There we were wrong. Could we not have stood aside, as the United States did, ready to help refugees and sufferers, anxious to heal wounds and not make them, watchful for the first chance of putting an end to this time of horror?
"'Try for a moment,' they say, 'to realize the suffering in one small corner of a battlefield. You have seen a man here and there badly hurt in an accident; you have seen perhaps a horse with its back broken, and you can remember how dreadful it seemed to you. In that one corner how many men, how many horses, will be lying, hurt far worse, and just waiting to die? Terrible wounds, extreme torment; and all, further than any eye can see, multiplied and multiplied! And, for all your just anger against Germany, what have these wounded done? The horses are not to blame for anybody's foreign policy. They have only come where their masters took them. And the masters themselves ... though certain German rulers and leaders are wicked, these soldiers, peasants, working-men, shop-keepers, and schoolmasters, have really done nothing in particular; at least, perhaps they have now, but they had not up to the time when you, seeing they were in war and misery already, decided to make war on them also and increase their sufferings. You say that justice must be done on such wrong-doers. But as far as the rights and wrongs of the war go, you are simply condemning to death and torture innocent men, by thousands and thousands; is that the best way to satisfy your sense of justice? These innocent people, you say, are fighting to protect the guilty parties whom you are determined to reach. Well, perhaps, at the end of the war, after millions of innocent people have suffered, you may at last, if all goes well with your arms, get at the "guilty parties." You will hold an inquiry, you will decide that certain Prussians with long titles are the guilty parties, and even then you will not know what to do with them. You will probably try, and almost certainly fail, to make them somehow feel ashamed. It is likely enough that they will instead become great national heroes.
"'And after all, this is supposed to be a war in which one party is wrong and the other right, and the right wins. Suppose both are wrong; or suppose the wrong party wins? It is as likely as not; for, if the right party is helped by his good conscience, the wrong has probably taken pains to have the odds on his side before he began quarreling. In that case, all the wild waste of blood and treasure, all the suffering of innocent people and dumb animals, all the tears of women and children have not set up the right, but established the wrong. To do a little evil that great or certain good may come is all very well; but to do great evil for only a chance of getting something which half the people may think good and the other half think bad ... that is neither good morals nor good sense. Anybody not in a passion must see that it is insanity,' So they say who think war always wrong.
"Their argument is wrong. It is judging war as a profit-and-loss account. It leaves out of sight the fact that in some causes it is better to fight and be broken than to yield peacefully; that sometimes the mere act of resisting to the death is in itself a victory.
"Let us try to understand this. The Greeks who fought and died at Thermopylæ had no doubt that they were doing right to fight and die, and we all agree with them. They probably knew they would be defeated. They probably expected that, after their defeat, the Persians would easily conquer the rest of Greece, and would treat it much more harshly because it had resisted. But such thoughts did not affect them. They would not consent to their country's dishonor.
"Take again a very clear modern case: the fine story of the French tourist who was captured, together with a priest and some other white people, by Moorish robbers. The Moors gave their prisoners the choice either to trample on the Cross or to be killed. The Frenchman was not a Christian. He disliked Christianity. But he was not going to trample on the Cross at the orders of a robber. He stuck to his companions and died with them.
"Honor and dishonor are real things. I will not try to define them; but will only notice that, like religion, they admit no bargaining. Indeed, we can almost think of honor as being simply that which a free man values more than life, and dishonor as that which he avoids more than suffering or death. And the important point for us is that there are such things as honor and dishonor.
"There are some people, followers of Tolstoy, who accept this as far as dying is concerned, but will have nothing to do with killing. Passive resistance, they say, is right; martyrdom is right; but to resist violence by violence is sin.
"I was once walking with a friend of Tolstoy's in a country lane, and a little girl was running in front of us. I put to him the well-known question: 'Suppose you saw a man, wicked or drunk or mad, run out and attack that child. You are a big man, and carry a big stick: would you not stop him and, if necessary, knock him down?' 'No,' he said, 'why should I commit a sin. I would try to persuade him, I would stand in his way, I would let him kill me, but I would not strike him,' Some few people will always be found, less than one in a thousand, to take this view. They will say: 'Let the little girl be killed or carried off; let the wicked man commit another wickedness; I, at any rate, will not add to the mass of useless violence that I see all around me.'
"With such persons one cannot reason, though one can often respect them. Nearly every normal man will feel that the real sin, the real dishonor, lies in allowing such an act to be committed under your eyes while you have the strength to prevent it. And the stronger you are, the greater your chance of success, by so much the more are you bound to interfere. If the robbers are overpoweringly strong and there is no chance of beating them, then and only then should you think of martyrdom. Martyrdom is not the best possibility. It is almost the worst. It is the last resort when there is no hope of successful resistance. The best thing—suppose once the robbers are there and intent on crime—the best thing is to overawe them at once; the next best, to defeat them after a hard struggle; the third best, to resist vainly and be martyred; the worst of all, the one evil that need never be endured, is to let them have their own will without protest.
"We have noticed that in all these cases of honor there seems to be no counting of cost, no balancing of good and evil. Ordinarily we are always balancing results, but when honor or religion come on the scene, all such balancing ceases. The point of honor is the point at which a man says to some wrong proposal, 'I will not do it. I will rather die.'
"These things are far easier to see where one man is concerned than where it is a whole nation. But they arise with nations, too. In the case of a nation the material consequences are much larger, and the point of honor is apt to be less clear. But, in general, whenever one nation in dealing with another relies simply on force or fraud, and denies to its neighbor the common consideration due to human beings, a point of honor must arise.
"Austria says suddenly to Serbia: 'You are a wicked little state. I have annexed and governed against their will some millions of your countrymen, yet you are still full of anti-Austrian feeling, which I do not intend to allow. You will dismiss from your service all officials, politicians, and soldiers who do not love Austria, and I will further send you from time to time lists of persons whom you are to dismiss or put to death. And if you do not agree to this within forty-eight hours, I, being vastly stronger than you, will make you. As a matter of fact, Serbia did her very best to comply with Austria's demands; she accepted about two thirds of them, and asked for arbitration on the remaining third. But it is clear that she could not accept them all without being dishonored. That is, Serbia would have given up her freedom at the threat of force; the Serbs would no longer be a free people, and every individual Serb would have been humiliated. He would have confessed himself to be the kind of man who will yield when an Austrian bullies him. And if it is urged that under good Austrian government Serbia would become richer and safer, and the Serbian peasants get better markets, such pleas cannot be listened to. They are a price offered for slavery; and a free man will not accept slavery at any price.
"Germany, again, says to Belgium: 'We have no quarrel with you, but we intend for certain reasons to march across your territory and perhaps fight a battle or two there. We know that you are pledged by treaty not to allow any such thing, but we cannot help that. Consent, and we will pay you afterwards; refuse, and we shall make you wish you had never been born.' At that moment Belgium was a free, self-governing state. If it had yielded to Germany's demand, it would have ceased to be either free or self-governing. It is possible that, if Germany had been completely victorious, Belgium would have suffered no great material injury; but she would have taken orders from a stranger who had no right to give them, simply because he was strong. Belgium refused. She has had some of her towns destroyed, some thousands of her soldiers killed, many more thousands of her women, children, and non-combatants outraged and beggared; but she is still free. She still has her honor.
"Let us think this matter out more closely. The follower of Tolstoy will say: 'We speak of Belgium's honor and Serbia's honor; but who is Serbia and who is Belgium? There is no such person as either. There are only great numbers of people who happen to be Serbians and Belgians, and who mostly have had nothing to do with questions at issue. Some of them are honorable people, some dishonorable. The honor of each one of them depends very much on whether he pays his debts and tells the truth, but not in the least on whether a number of foreigners walk through his country or interfere with his government. King Albert and his ministers might feel humiliated if the German government compelled them to give way against their will; but would the ordinary population? Would the ordinary peasant or shop-keeper or artisan in the districts of Vise and Liége and Louvain have felt particularly disgraced or ashamed? He would probably have made a little money and been greatly amused by the sight of the troops passing. He would not have suffered any injury that can for a moment be compared with what he has suffered now, in order that his government might feel proud of itself.'
"I will not raise the point that, as a matter of fact, to grant a right of way to Germany would have been to declare war against France, so that Belgium would not, by giving up her independence, have been spared the danger of war. I will assume that it was simply a question of honor. And I believe that our follower of Tolstoy is very wrong.
"Is it true, in a healthy and well-governed state, that the average citizen is indifferent to the honor of his country? We know that it is not. True, the average citizen may often not understand what is going on, but as soon as he knows, he cares. Suppose for a moment that the King, or the Prime Minister, or the President of the United States, were found to be in the pay of a foreign state, can any one pretend that the ordinary citizens of Great Britain or America would take it quietly? That any normal man would be found saying: 'Well, the King, or the President, or the Prime Minister, is behaving dishonorably, but that is a matter for him, not for me. I am an honest and honorable man, and my government can do what it likes.' The notion is absurd. The ordinary citizen would feel instantly and without question that his country's honor involved his own. And woe to the society in which it were otherwise! We know of such societies in history. They are the kind which is called 'corrupt,' and which generally has not long to live. Belgium has proved that she is not that kind of society.
"But what about Great Britain herself? At the present moment a very clear case has arisen, and we can test our own feelings. Great Britain had, by a solemn treaty, pledged herself to help keep the neutrality of Belgium. Belgium is a little state lying between two very strong states, France and Germany, and in danger of being overrun or abused by one of them unless the Great Powers guaranteed her safety. The treaty, signed by Prussia, Russia, Austria, France, and Great Britain, bound all these Powers not to attack Belgium, move troops into it, or annex any part of it; and further, to resist by armed force any Power which should try to do any of these things. Belgium, on her part, was bound to maintain her own neutrality to the best of her power, and not to side with any state which was at war with another.
"At the end of July, 1914, the exact case arose in which we had pledged ourselves to act. Germany, suddenly and without excuse, invaded Belgium, and Belgium appealed to us and France to defend her. Meantime she fought alone, desperately, against overwhelming odds. The issue was clear. The German Chancellor, Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg, in his speech of August 6, admitted that Germany had no grievance against Belgium, and no excuse except 'necessity.' She could not get to France quick enough by the direct road. Germany put her case to us, roughly, on these grounds. 'True, you did sign a treaty, but what is a treaty? We ourselves signed the same treaty, and see what we are doing! Anyhow, treaty or no treaty, we have Belgium in our power. If she had done what we wanted, we would have treated her kindly; as it is we shall show her no mercy. If you will now do what we want and stay quiet, later on we will consider a friendly deal with you. If you interfere, you must take the consequences. We trust you will not be so insane as to plunge your whole empire into danger for the sake of "a scrap of paper."' Our answer was: 'Evacuate Belgium within twelve hours or we fight you.'
"I think that answer was right. Consider the situation carefully. No question arises of overhaste or lack of patience on our part. From the first moment of the crisis, we had labored night and day in every court of Europe for any possible means of peace. We had carefully and sincerely explained to Germany beforehand what attitude she might expect from us. We did not send our ultimatum till Belgium was already invaded. It is just the plain question put to the British government, and, I think, to every one who feels himself a British citizen: 'The exact case contemplated in your treaty has arisen: the people you swore to protect is being massacred; will you keep your word at a gigantic cost, or will you break it at the bidding of Germany?' For my own part, weighing the whole question, I would rather die than submit; and I believe that the government, in deciding to keep its word at the cost of war, has expressed the feeling of the average British citizen.
"War is not all evil. It is a true tragedy, which must have nobleness and triumph in it as well as disaster, but we must not begin to praise war without stopping to reflect on the hundreds of thousands of human beings involved in such horrors of pain that, if here in our ordinary hours we saw one man so treated, the memory would sicken us to the end of our lives; we must remember the horses and dogs, remember the gentle natures brutalized by hardship and filth, and the once decent persons transformed by rage and fear into devils of cruelty. But, when we have realized that, we may begin to see in this desert of evil some oases of good.
"Do the fighting men become degraded? Day after day come streams of letters from the front, odd stories, fragments of diaries, and the like; full of the small intimate facts which reveal character, and almost with one accord they show that these men have not fallen, but risen. No doubt there has been some selection in the letters; to some extent the writers repeat what they wish to have remembered, and say nothing of what they wish to forget. But, when all allowances are made, one cannot read the letters and the dispatches without a feeling of admiration for the men about whom they tell. They were not originally a set of chosen men. They were just our ordinary fellow citizens, the men you meet on a crowded pavement. There was nothing to suggest that their conduct in common life was better than that of their neighbors. Yet now, under the stress of war, having a duty before them that is clear and unquestioned and terrible, they are daily doing nobler things than we most of us have ever had the chance of doing, things which we hardly dare hope that we might be able to do. I am not thinking of the rare achievements that win a V.C. or a Cross of the Legion of Honor, but of the common necessary heroism of the average man; the long endurance, the devoted obedience, the close-banded life in which self-sacrifice is the normal rule, and all men may be forgiven except the man who saves himself at the expense of his comrade. I think of the men who share their last biscuit with a starving peasant, who help wounded comrades through days and nights of horrible retreat, who give their lives to save mates or officers.
"For example, to take these two stories:
"Relating his experiences to a pressman, Lance-Corporal Edmondson, of the Royal Irish Lancers, said: 'There is absolutely no doubt that our men are still animated by the spirit of old. I came on a couple of men of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who had been cut off at Mons. One was badly wounded, but his companion had stuck by him all the time in a country swarming with Germans, and, though they had only a few biscuit between them, they managed to pull through until we picked them up. I pressed the unwounded man to tell me how they managed to get through the four days on six biscuit, but he always got angry and told me to shut up. I fancy he went without anything, and gave the biscuit to the wounded man. They were offered shelter many times by French peasants, but they were so afraid of bringing trouble on these kind folk that they would never accept shelter. One night they lay out in the open all through a heavy downpour, though there was a house at hand where they could have had shelter. Uhlans were on the prowl, and they would not think of compromising the French people, who would have been glad to help them.'
"The following story of an unidentified private of the Royal Irish Regiment, who deliberately threw away his life in order to warn his comrades of an ambush, is told by a wounded corporal of the West Yorkshire Regiment now in hospital in Woolwich:
"'The fight in which I got hit was in a little French village near to Rheims. We were working in touch with the French corps on our left, and early one morning we were sent ahead to this village, which we had reason to believe was clear of the enemy. On the outskirts we questioned a French lad, but he seemed scared and ran away. We went on through the long narrow street, and just as we were in sight of the end, the figure of a man dashed out from a farmhouse on the right. Immediately the rifles began to crack in front, and the poor chap fell dead before he reached us.
"'He was one of our men, a private of the Royal Irish Regiment. We learned that he had been captured the previous day by a party of German cavalry, and had been held a prisoner at the farm, where the Germans were in ambush for us. He tumbled to their game, and though he knew that if he made the slightest sound they would kill him, he decided to make a dash to warn us of what was in store. He had more than a dozen bullets in him and there was not the slightest hope for him. We carried him into a house until the fight was over, and then we buried him next day with military honors. His identification disk and everything else was missing, so that we could only put over his grave the tribute that was paid to a greater: "He saved others; himself he could not save." There wasn't a dry eye among us when we laid him to rest in that little village.'
"Or I think again of the expressions on faces that I have seen or read about, something alert and glad and self-respecting in the eyes of those who are going to the front, and even of the wounded who are returning. 'Never once,' writes one correspondent, 'not once since I came to France have I seen among the soldiers an angry face or heard an angry word.... They are always quiet, orderly, and wonderfully cheerful.' And no one who has followed the war need be told of their heroism. I do not forget the thousands left on the battlefield to die, or the groaning of the wounded sounding all day between the crashes of the guns. But there is a strange, deep gladness as well. 'One feels an extraordinary freedom,' says a young Russian officer, 'in the midst of death, with the bullets whistling round. The same with all the soldiers. The wounded all want to get well and return to the fight. They fight with tears of joy in their eyes.'
"Human nature is a mysterious thing, and man finds his weal and woe not in the obvious places. To have something before you, clearly seen, which you know you must do, and can do, and will spend your utmost strength and perhaps your life in doing, that is one form at least of very high happiness, and one that appeals—the facts prove it—not only to saints and heroes but to average men. Doubtless the few who are wise enough and have enough imagination, may find opportunity for that same happiness in everyday life, but in war ordinary men find it. This is the inward triumph which lies at the heart of the great tragedy."
If a person had been standing one night beside the railroad tracks in Germany in the fall of 1917, he would have seen a train speeding along through the darkness at about thirty-five miles an hour. He would have noticed through an open window a tall soldier in the uniform of an English flyer, a lieutenant in the R.F.C. (Royal Flying Corps), stand up on the seat as if to get something out of the rack; and then he would have been astounded to see the same tall English flyer come flying out feet first through the window, to land on the side of his head on the stone ballast of the opposite track.
Few persons could do this and come through alive. This English flyer a few weeks before had fallen eight thousand feet, with a bullet in his neck, when his airplane had been shot down in a fight with four German machines. When picked up within the German lines, he was enough alive to be taken to a hospital. The bullet was removed, and he recovered. He was a British flyer, simply because America did not enter the war soon enough for him, and like many other young Americans, he was eager to fight the German beast and "save the world for democracy."
He was being taken with six other officers from a prison in Belgium to a prison camp in Germany. He knew that, once there, his chances for escape would be very small; and he felt he preferred death to life in a German prison camp. He knew that, if he were not killed in his leap from the train, the Germans would doubtless shoot him as a spy, should they succeed in recapturing him. Some Germans wanted all Americans who enlisted in the Allied armies to be shot, as they had shot Captain Fryatt, on the ground that they were non-combatants attacking war forces; for this was before America entered the war against Germany. Besides, prisoners were not allowed to know what was going on in Germany. An escaped prisoner who could find out was, therefore, likely to be treated as a spy.
Pat O'Brien's cheek was cut open, and his left eye badly injured and swollen so that he could not open it. He had scratched his hands and wrists, and sprained his ankle. But he was hard to kill. In the excitement caused by his jump through the car window, the Germans did not stop the train immediately, and so did not reach the spot where he had fallen, until he had recovered consciousness and had got away from the track. He was careful in walking away to hold the tail of his coat so that the blood dropping from his cheek would not fall upon the ground and show which way he went. Before daylight he had been able to put more than five miles between him and the tracks. He then hid in a deep woods, knowing that he must travel by night and keep out of sight by day, for he was wearing the uniform of a British flyer.
The story of his adventures is one of the most interesting of all the strange and interesting stories of the World War. When he reached England, King George sent for him to come to Buckingham Palace and spent nearly an hour listening to it. Lieutenant O'Brien has published it in a book which he calls "Outwitting the Hun." Boys and girls who like an exciting story of adventure, a true story, will want to read this book.
He knew the North Star, and by this he set his course west, in order to reach Belgium, and then go north from Belgium to Holland. It rained a great share of the time, but this did not make much difference, for he had to swim so many canals and rivers that his clothes were always wet. At first he had taken off his clothes when he had to swim and had tied them in a bundle to his head to keep them from getting wet; but after he lost one of his shoes in the water in this way and had to spend nearly two hours diving before he recovered it, he swam with his clothes and shoes on. He never could have gone on without shoes. Had he not been a good diver, he could not have found the shoe in the mud under eight feet of water; had he not been a good swimmer, he could not have crossed the Meuse River, nearly half a mile wide, after many days and nights of traveling almost without food (as it was, he dropped in a dead faint when he reached the farther side); and had he not known the North Star, he would have had no idea at night whether he was going in the right direction or going in, a circle. Rainy and cloudy nights delayed him greatly.
He did not dare ask for food at the houses in Germany, for he would have been immediately turned over to the authorities. So he lived on raw carrots, turnips, cabbages, sugar beets, and potatoes, which he found in the fields. He knew he must not make a fire even if he could do so in the Indian's way, by rubbing sticks together. He had no matches. He found some celery one night and ate so much of it that it made him sick. He had only the water in the canals and rivers to drink, and most of this was really unfit for human beings. He lay for an hour one night in a cabbage field lapping the dew from the cabbage leaves, he was so thirsty for pure, fresh water.
One day before he reached Belgium, he was awakened from his sleep in the woods by voices near him. He kept very quiet, and soon heard the sound of axes and saw a great tree, not far from him, tremble. He was lying in a clump of thick bushes and could not move without making a noise. He knew that if the great tree with its huge branches fell in his direction, he would surely be killed or at least pinned to the earth and badly injured—and his capture meant that he would be shot as a spy. But there was nothing for him to do but wait, and hope. At last the tree began to sway, and then fell away from him instead of towards him. He had again escaped death.
When he reached Belgium, which he did in eighteen days after his escape through the car window, he followed the North Star, for he knew Holland was to the north, and once in Holland he would be free. His feet were sore and bleeding, his knees badly swollen, and he was sick from exposure and starvation. For a while, he had a severe fever and raved and talked all night long in his half sleeping state. He feared some one would hear him and that he would be taken. He was weary and tired of struggling and fighting, and ready to give up; but his will, his soul, would not let him. He tells us how he raved when the fever was on him, and called on the North Star to save him from the coward, Pat O'Brien, who wanted him to quit.
He says he cried aloud, "There you are, you old North Star! You want me to get to Holland, don't you? But this Pat O'Brien—this Pat O'Brien who calls himself a soldier—he's got a yellow streak—North Star—and he says it can't be done! He wants me to quit—to lie down here for the Huns to find me and take me back to Courtrai—after all you've done, North Star, to lead me to liberty. Won't you make this coward leave me, North Star? I don't want to follow him—I just want to follow you—because you—you are taking me away from the Huns and this Pat O'Brien—this fellow who keeps after me all the time and leans on my neck and wants me to lie down—this yellow Pat O'Brien who wants me to go back to the Huns!"
In Belgium, he had a somewhat easier time, as far as food went, for he found he could go to the Belgian houses and ask for it. As he could not speak the language, and did not want them to know he was an English soldier, he pretended he was deaf and dumb. He had finally succeeded in getting some overalls and discarding his uniform.
Belgium was full of German soldiers, many of them living in the houses of the Belgians, so he was obliged to use extreme care in approaching a house to ask for food or help. Every Belgian was supposed to carry a card, called in German an Ausweiss. It identified the bearer when stopped by a German sentinel or soldier. Lieutenant O'Brien knew that without this card he would be arrested and that his looks made him a suspicious character. His eye had hardly healed, his face was covered with a three weeks' beard, and altogether he was a disreputable looking creature.
After very many interesting and exciting experiences, he succeeded in reaching the boundary line. To prevent Belgians taking refuge in Holland and to prevent escaped prisoners, and even German soldiers, from crossing the line into this neutral country, where, if they were in uniform, they would be interned for the rest of the war, the Germans had built all along the line three barbed wire fences, six feet apart. The center fence was charged with electricity of such a voltage that any human being coming in contact with it would be instantly electrocuted. This triple barrier of wire was guarded by German sentinels day and night.
Lieutenant O'Brien reached the barrier in the night, and hid himself when he heard the tramp of the German sentinel. He waited until the sentinel returned and noted carefully how long he was gone, in order to learn how much time he had in which to work.
He thought he could build a ladder out of two fallen trees by tying branches across them, and in this way get over the ten-foot center fence. He succeeded in getting his ladder together, by working all night, and with it he hid in the woods all the next day. When night came, he shoved the ladder under the first barbed wire fence and crawled in after it. He placed it carefully up against one of the posts to which the charged electric wires were fastened and began to climb up it, when all of a sudden it slipped and came in contact with the live wires. The trees out of which he had constructed it were so soaked with water that they made good conductors of electricity, and he received such a charge that he was thrown to the ground unconscious, where he lay while the sentinel passed within seven feet of him.
He gave up the ladder and decided to dig under the live wires. He had only his hands to dig with, but the ground was fairly soft. After some hours, he had a hole deep enough and wide enough to crawl through without touching the live wire. He found a wire running along under the ground. He knew this could not be alive, for the ground would discharge any electricity there might be in it. So he took hold of it and, after much struggling, was able to get it out of the way. Then he crawled carefully under the live wires and was a free man in Holland, for he wore no uniform and would not be interned.
At the first village he came to, some of the Dutch people loaned him enough money to ride third-class to Rotterdam. He said he was glad he was not riding first-class, for he would have looked as much out of place in a first-class compartment as a Hun would in heaven.
The English consul at Rotterdam gave him money and a passport to England, and from there he came to see his mother, in a little town in Illinois, called Momence.
 BY COURTESY OF HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK.
There are many ways of fighting, and the Germans, in their forty-four years of planning to conquer the world, thought of them all. The only forces they neglected were the mighty forces of fairness, justice, innocence, pity, purity, friendship, love, and other similar spiritual forces that Americans have been taught to look upon as the greatest of all.
There is a force called Rumor which sometimes speaks the truth, but which usually lies, that is a great power for evil and rarely for good. The Germans used this with the Italian troops in Italy, sending into their lines, by dropping them from airplanes and in other ways, all sorts of rumors about Austria and Italy, about the coming collapse of the Allies, about what great friends the Russians and Germans had become when the Russians realized that it was foolish and wrong to fight,—until the Italian soldiers lost the spirit which had carried them over the Alps and very near to the conquest of Austria, and were then easily defeated in the next powerful Austrian attack.
German agents spread stories through the papers of the United States to help Germany in the eyes and minds of the American people. They bought leading papers in Paris and one in New York to use in misleading people as to Germany's actions and aims. They printed lies for their own people to make them believe the war was forced on Germany, and that they were fighting against the whole world, for their lives and for liberty. They published cartoons in German papers in great numbers to carry, even to those who could not read, the ideas about the war and about her enemies that German rulers wished the people to believe.
The German leaders, in all lines, realize the power of advertising, and they tried to fill men's eyes and ears with false statements of the German cause. Not long ago almost any kind of advertisement was allowed in the papers published in the United States. Pictures of a man perfectly bald were printed side by side with others of a man with flowing locks, all the result of a few applications of Dr. Quack's Wonderful Hair Restorer, or some other equally good. Letters were published, bought and paid for, often from prominent people, declaring that two bottles (or more) of some patent medicine had made them over from hopeless invalids to vigorous, joyous manhood or womanhood. Falsehoods, or at least misleading statements, were given about foodstuffs, either on the packages or in advertisements about them.
But the United States government soon put a stop to this misrepresentation and compelled advertisers and food manufacturers not only to stop lying, but even to print the truth; and the manufacture and sale of things injurious to the public health were controlled. The American people want honesty, frankness, and fair dealing in all things.
The Germans seem to be a different kind of people in every way. It is to be hoped that sometime they will cease to act as manufacturers of patent medicines and adulterated foods were accustomed to act; but as long as Germany is after material gain, as these manufacturers were after money, it is very likely that she will seek to get it by deceit and lying, until the governments of the earth oblige her to be honest, or quit business.
It is said that it takes a long time to catch a lie. It depends, however, upon how many get after it and how swift and powerful they are. German lies have been counted upon as a considerable part of her fighting forces. She has spent millions of dollars and used thousands of men in this service. Is it not strange that one little, almost insignificant looking Dutchman, hardly heard of before the war, has been able almost alone to defeat the money and the men used by Germany to hoodwink the world? But this Dutchman, Louis Raemaekers, working for the Amsterdam Telegraf, had for years seen through German ideas and aims. He says, "Germany has never made any secret of her ideas or her intentions, She has always been frank, as selfish people often are. I have seen through the German idea for more than twenty years. A generation ago, I saw, as every one who cared to see did, what it was leading us to; in fact, Germany told us."
And he adds about the German people: "There is only one way to reach the modern German. Beat him over the head. He understands nothing else. The world must go on beating him over the head until he cries 'Enough'; or the world can never live with him."
Knowing Germany, and that German victory meant the loss of all that is really worth while in this world, the loss of liberty, and the destruction of any government that is what Lincoln said all governments should be, "of the people, for the people, and by the people"—Louis Raemaekers fought Germany with his pen and his brush, and fought her so well that the German government offered a large reward for him dead or alive, and a leading German writer said he had done more harm to the Prussian cause than an armed division of Allied troops.
The Cologne Gazette, in a furious article dealing with Raemaekers, declared that after the war Germany would settle accounts with Holland and would demand payment with interest for the damage done Germany by his cartoons.
Civilization under the Lash
Taken from "Raemaekers' Cartoon History of the War," by permission of The Century Company.
Some of the Dutch people feared Germany so greatly that they succeeded in bringing Raemaekers to trial for having violated the neutrality of Holland. German influence was strong in Holland, and Raemaekers was hated by many of his own people; but the better sense of the Dutch triumphed, and he was acquitted.
One of his first cartoons represented Germany in the form of the Kaiser, wearing a German uniform and spiked helmet, with a foot upon the body of Luxemburg and a knee upon the prostrate form of Belgium, whom he was choking to death. He holds an uplifted sword in his hand and is saying, "This is how I deal with the small fry."
Another shows with almost sickening force the heart-breaking suffering of Belgian mothers, as contrasted with the cruelty and hard-heartedness of the Huns. A Belgian woman is kneeling beside a pile of dead from her village, with an expression of almost insane suffering upon her face. A German officer is passing, with one hand thrust into his coat front and a cigar in his mouth. He stops to say, "Ah! was your boy among the twelve this morning? Then you'll find him among this lot."
A third shows a German looting a house and carrying away everything that he thinks is of value to him. The furniture is smashed and a woman and child lie dead on the floor. The Hun is saying, "It's all right. If I had not done it some one else might."
A fourth shows a line of hostages standing in front of a wall to be shot for an offense that the German officer in command claims some one in the village committed. Those taken as hostages are innocent of wrong doing. The cartoon shows the ends of the barrels of the German muskets pointed at the hearts of the hostages and a German officer with his sword raised and his lips parted to give the order to fire. It shows but four of the hostages: an old man, probably the mayor of the town; a white-haired priest; a well-to-do man, and his son, about fourteen years of age. The boy is asking, "Father, what have we done?"—the cry that went up to their Heavenly Father from thousands of martyrs in Belgium.
It is no wonder that the German rulers fear this Dutch artist more than they do a division of soldiers. His fighting against the Huns and their atrocities and against the German nature and teaching that made these atrocities possible will continue in every nation of the earth, as long as printing presses furnish pictures and people look at them.
His pen or pencil wrote a language that all could read, and they spoke the truth so that it turned all who read it against the modern Hun.
When he visited England, one of the leading papers declared that he was a genius, probably the only genius produced by the war; and that long after the most exciting and interesting articles in newspapers and magazines were forgotten, and the great number of books on the war had been lost or stowed away in dusty garrets, his cartoons would live and stir the indignation of men yet unborn; and that Louis Raemaekers had nailed the Kaiser to a cross of immortal infamy.
France has honored him as one of the great heroes of the war, and has given him the Legion of Honor.
George Creel says, "He is a voice, a sword, a flame. His cartoons are the tears of women, the battle shout of indomitable defenders, the indignation of humanity, the sob of civilization. They will go down in history."
One of the wonderful painters of old Japan put so much of himself, of his soul and heart, into every stroke of his brush that it was said, "If a swift and keen sword should cut through his brush at work, it would bleed."
Through the pen and brush of Louis Raemaekers has pulsed the heart blood of suffering Belgium and horrified humanity; and for this reason, his cartoons are inspired and move the hearts and minds of all men to despise and condemn those who could commit such inhuman deeds.
A soldier on the firing step, aiming at the enemy, is suddenly struck; and he drops down to the bottom of the trench. His nearest comrade must keep on firing, but two stretcher-bearers are ready at their posts. They rush forward, take the first-aid packet from the soldier's pocket, cut his clothes away from the wound, and quickly dress it. They carry him to the trench doctor, who treats the wound again. Then they take the soldier from the trenches to the nearest field ambulance, where his wound is again cared for.
He is so badly hurt that he needs to recover far from the sound of the thundering cannon. But he is not so seriously injured that he cannot stand a short journey. So he is placed, as comfortably as possible, in an ambulance train, with skilled Red Cross nurses to attend to him. The train arrives just in time to meet the hospital ship at the port. The soldier is carried on board, and soon finds himself in a quiet hospital in London—all in little more than twenty-four hours, a day and a night.
So thousands of men have been cared for each week, by a never-ending line of devoted Red Cross stretcher-bearers, doctors, and nurses, on the battlefield, on the trains, on hospital ships, and in the home hospitals, in London, and in every fighting country in the world.
Somewhat back from the lines are the stationary hospitals, where many soldiers are left who cannot be carried farther, but must be treated there. "Mushroom hospitals" they are called; for, although they have the appearance of having been there before, they really have sprung up only since the war started. The wards are spotlessly clean, filled with rows and rows of beds, also spotlessly clean. Beyond are the operating rooms, baths, kitchens, and gardens filled with flowers, where the wounded men may breathe fresh air and get back the strength which they have so willingly lost in service. All the time, hundreds of new patients are arriving, hundreds are leaving, either to go to more distant hospitals, or to go back to the lines to fight.
In comes one soldier who does not see or know where he is, nor who it was that brought him. But when at last he opens his eyes, he finds himself in a spotlessly clean white bed for the first time in months. He looks about, and yes, there is Bobby, his own pet collie, sitting beside him. He had lost him when he went over the top in the fight; but somehow Bobby had followed him here, and somebody had been kind enough to let him stay beside his master in this clean and pleasant room.
By and by the wounded soldier grows well enough to be carried out into the garden. There he and Bobby sit and watch the men caring for the flowers. These men are not hired; they are wounded soldiers helping about the hospital. The garden itself was made by a soldier who was a gardener before the war. Every man helps with his knowledge of some trade. The napkin rings and salt cellars used in the hospital were made by a soldier tinsmith out of old biscuit boxes.
One day our wounded soldier becomes so well that he may walk away with Bobby, and a nurse brings him his suit, his rifle, and all his equipment, nicely cleansed and put in order.
So everybody does his bit in the hospitals. Dentists and eye-specialists, surgeons and nurses, wearing the Red Cross, work tirelessly from morning till night and sometimes both day and night, to save the brave wounded men. They do their work as best they can, sweetly and cheerfully, caring for the German soldiers as well as for their own Allied soldiers. To know of them, to watch them in their work of mercy, is to realize that there is something different from the beast in man—there is the God in man, the spirit of love and tender, skillful care, which they dare to give in the face of awful danger.
One of the brave nurses wrote home to America something of all she was doing. Among many things, she said: "The Huns were pouring down in streams to attack our men. I immediately began to get the hospital ready to receive the wounded.
"Our surgeon was away on leave, but another equally good arrived. On Tuesday, the wounded men began to come in. Wednesday and Thursday I served from early morning until midnight. Bombs were bursting in the distance, and news came that the Huns were within a few miles of us.
"A Red Cross unit came, and one English nurse arrived to help us. She had lost the others in her party, and had walked miles to get here. It seemed as if God had sent them all from heaven!
"All the surgical supplies that I could save from those you sent me from the Red Cross, I had put away for emergency. I don't know what we would have done without them!
"I had to see that the surgeons had whatever they needed, and from all sides every one was calling for help. Through it all, I was up every morning at four and never went to bed till midnight. The cannon were roaring, star shells exploding, bombs dropping around us,—but nothing touching us!
"For eight days our men fought gloriously. They were a wonder and such a surprise to the Huns. Now perhaps they know what they have to face!
"The little hospital was able to save many, many lives. We have sent away most of our wounded to-day, and are now waiting in suspense for what may come next—but we are ready to do our best, whatever comes.
"We do not dare keep the seriously wounded now for any length of time, for no one knows when the Huns may fight their way through. We know what the 'front line' really means. No one goes in or out except by military or Red Cross camion. No private telegrams can be sent, and to our joy, we do not have to bother with food-ration cards, for a while at least. Boches are over our heads all day, and cannons booming. I am so used to it now that I don't mind it.
"I am so homesick to see you all, but I will not leave my work until the end of this horrible war, if God will give me health and strength. Don't worry. I intend to stick to my post to the end, and if the Huns come down upon us, the Red Cross will get us out."
Nor are these all of the ways in which the Red Cross shows the God in man. From the beginning of the war until March, 1918, over $36,000,000 of American money alone was spent in the following ways:
Established rest stations along all routes followed by the American troops in France.
Built canteens for use of French and American soldiers at the front, also at railroad junctions and in Paris.
Supplied American troops with comfort kits and sent them Christmas gifts.
Established a hospital-distributing service that supplies 3423 French military hospitals, and a surgical dressing service that supplies 2000.
Provided an artificial-limb factory and special plants for the manufacture of splints and nitrous oxide gas.
Established a casualty service for gathering information in regard to wounded and missing, this information to be sent to relatives.
Opened a children's refuge hospital in the war zone and established a medical and traveling center to accommodate 1200 children in the reconquered sections of France. Fifty thousand children throughout France are being cared for in some measure by the Red Cross.
Planned extensive reclamation work in the invaded sections of France from which the enemy has been driven; this work is now being carried out with the coöperation of the Society of Friends and alumnæ units from Smith College and other colleges.
Established a large central warehouse in Paris and numerous warehouses at important points from the sea to the Swiss border, for storing of hospital supplies, food, soldiers' comforts, tobacco, blankets, clothing, beds, and other articles of relief.
Secured and operated 400 motor cars for the distribution of supplies.
Opened a hospital and convalescent home for children; also established an ambulance service for the adult refugees, who are now returning from points within the German lines at the rate of 1000 a day.
Improved health conditions in the American war zone before the coming of American troops.
Started reconstruction work in reconquered territory, supplying returned refugees with temporary dwellings, tools, furniture, farm animals, and supplies essential to giving them a fresh start in life.
Appropriated $600,000 for the relief of Belgian children, covering their removal from territories under bombardment and the establishment and maintenance of them in colonies.
Provided funds for the operation of a hospital for wounded Belgian soldiers and for part of the equipment of a typhoid hospital.
Provided the Italian army with 60 ambulances, 40 trucks, and 100 American drivers.
Contracted for 10 field hospitals complete for use by the Sanita Militaire and the Italian Red Cross.
Supplied 1,000,000 surgical dressings. Opened relief headquarters in 9 districts of Italy.
Established a hospital for refugees at Rimini.
Planned and made appropriations for extensive work among the refugees in all parts of Italy.
Rushed more than $100,000 worth of medical supplies and foodstuffs into Roumania immediately after the retreat to Jassy.
Carried general relief work into every part of the stricken country not invaded by the Teuton and Bulgarian forces.
United States, $8,589,899.
Organized and trained 45 ambulance companies, totaling 5580 men, for service with American soldiers and sailors.
Built and maintained four laboratory cars for emergency use in stamping out epidemics at cantonments and training camps.
Started work of bettering sanitary conditions in the zones immediately surrounding the cantonments.
Established camp service bureaus to look out for comfort and welfare of soldiers in training.
Supplied 2,000,000 sweaters to soldiers and sailors.
Mobilized 14,000 trained nurses for care of our men.
Established a department of Home Service and opened training schools for workers.
Planned convalescent houses at all cantonments and training camps. Increased membership from scant half million to approximately 22,000,000.
|For War Relief in other countries, including Great Britain, Russia, and Serbia||$7,581,075|
|To supply food to American prisoners in Germany||$343,304|
|For supplies purchased for shipment abroad||$15,000,000|
The Jewish Relief Societies of this country have also forwarded large sums of money to relieve the terrible suffering among their people in Russia, Poland, Turkey, Palestine, and others of the war-stricken countries. Approximately $24,000,000 was sent abroad for this purpose during the first four years of the war.
One evening the train drew into the station of a little town in France. It stopped long enough for half a hundred tired, dusty soldiers to gain the platform, then puffed away out of sight. They were not the fighting soldiers—they were engineers. The men looked about in a bewildered way for the train with which they were supposed to connect. But it was nowhere in sight; it had gone. They were sorry not to meet the rest of their company, but there was nothing for them to do but remain in the town overnight. They walked the streets, and found that every hotel, boarding house, and private home was filled to the last cot. Thousands of American troops were in the town, on their way to the front. The engineers had ridden for many hours and were very hungry, but their pockets were nearly empty.
Suddenly they stopped before a large building painted a deep blue, and bearing the sign,
Knights of Columbus
The half a hundred men walked in, passed group after group of soldiers and sailors, and found the secretary. Soon they were dining on Knights of Columbus ham and eggs, without money and without price! The secretary himself served them.
They entered the large lounging room, found tables covered with good reading books, easy chairs and writing benches set about the room, and a stage at the back with piano, victrola, and a moving picture screen.
So when they least expected it, but most wanted it, they found a place that seemed like home. Knights of Comfort, the Knights of Columbus have been called, and comfort they have given to thousands of soldiers and sailors. About $50,000,000 has been raised by the society for one year of such good work.
Almost on the very battleground is another source of comfort to the fighting men,—the little huts with the sign of the Red Triangle,—the Y.M.C.A. There is hardly one American home which has not received from some soldier a letter on paper marked with the little red triangle. Thousands have been written at the benches inside the huts, and thousands of books and magazines found in the huts have been read in spare time by the soldier lads.
Usually only the paper for letter writing is furnished at the huts, and the men buy their postage stamps. Often fifty to a hundred men are in line to purchase stamps, so that at times the secretary heaves a sigh of relief when at last he has to hang up the sign "Stamps All Out." In one hut as many as three thousand letters have been handled in one day, besides parcel-post packages, registered letters, and money-orders.
The United States government has realized the valuable services of the society and recognized it officially, permitting its men to wear the uniform, and to accompany the soldiers right into the trenches.
Often before and always after the men go into battle, the "Y" workers bring up great kettles of hot chocolate and a store of biscuit. This is a godsend to the men who have been fighting for hours with little, if anything, to eat.
Passing over the battlefield, the workers write down messages from wounded and dying men, to be sent to their relatives. They learn all they can about those who have been taken prisoners, and so bring comfort to the people at home.
The secretaries send to the United States free of charge money from the soldiers to their home folks. In one month, a million dollars was brought to the Y.M.C.A. with the simple instructions that it be delivered to addresses given by the soldiers. The controller of the New York Life Insurance Company in France has had charge of this.
The association has nearly 400 motor trucks engaged in various kinds of transport work. It aids greatly in caring for and entertaining the soldiers, as many as 4000 of them at a time. It has opened many hotels in France, four of them in Paris, and owns several factories for the making of chocolate. It holds religious services for the men, providing preachers of all the different faiths. So it, too, shares in the godlike services of the Red Cross and Knights of Columbus.
Near the trenches and at training camps, other work has been done similar to that of the Y.M.C.A. and Knights of Columbus, by the Salvation Army. The soldier boys have especially enjoyed the doughnuts and pies furnished them by this society.
It has, it is said, placed 153 comfort and refreshment huts at the front in Europe, and is building many more. It maintains about 80 military homes, caring for about 100,000 men each week. It operates nearly 50 ambulances. Over 700 of its members are devoting their lives to war work in the trenches and at the camps. It was the first, it is said, of the societies of mercy at the front, and spent for the work mentioned $1,000,000, all made up of nickels and dimes of small givers, before the society made any "drive" for funds.
Letters from officials, friends, and soldier boys tell what glorious work these and other similar societies have done and are doing. They bring a little touch of heaven into the very worst places and conditions, and show the God in man.
The story of the World War is the story of the control of the sea by the Allies, of land fighting on two fronts, the western and the eastern, and of separate scattered campaigns in Africa and Asia.
Here the war really began and here it seems likely to be decided and ended. The Germans who planned the war were ready and, using their railroads built for that purpose, rushed their armies to the Belgian border before France had hardly begun to mobilize. Luxemburg was overrun at once and Belgium invaded. The brave Belgians under General Leman held up the advance for several days at Liége and saved France and western civilization. The Huns soon occupied nearly all of Belgium, taking Brussels on August 20 and Antwerp on October 9.
They pushed on directly toward Paris, driving the British who had been landed, the Belgians, and the French, before them. They advanced to within twenty miles of Paris, near Meaux on the Marne, and were there defeated September 5-10, 1914, and forced to retreat to the Aisne, where they entrenched themselves.
The Germans had driven the British south by constantly threatening to outflank them, and there had been a race to the gates of Paris. Now the British turned the tables and, in attempting to outflank the Germans, there was a race away from Paris to the North Sea, with the final result that the enemies were lined up opposite each other, from Switzerland near the German border to the coast between Dunkirk and Ostend.
Until 1918 trench warfare continued. The Germans sought to drive the English out of Ypres, but did not succeed. In one of these attacks on April 22, 1915, gas was used for the first time.
The British and French won a great victory on the Somme, July, 1916, taking nearly 75,000 prisoners. This battle is recognized as one of the turning points of the war, for it caused the extensive retreat of the Germans the following spring. The Huns devastated the territory from which they retreated more completely and mercilessly than any army, even barbarians, had ever done before in the history of the world. The British attempted to capture Lille and the bases of the German submarines on the Belgian coast at Ostend and Zeebrugge, but were unsuccessful.
In November, 1917, General Byng, in a surprise attack in which for the first time a large number of tanks were used, broke the famous Hindenburg line of trenches and captured 8000 Germans. He soon lost all the territory he had gained and many men, through being surprised himself by attacks on both sides of the pocket or salient which he had pushed into the German lines.
The Battle of the Somme referred to above was intended to relieve the terrible pressure of the Germans on the French forts at Verdun. The German Crown Prince had attacked these in July, 1916, determined to break through at whatever cost. But the soul of France rose to the occasion and declared, "They shall not pass!" The Battle of Verdun lasted from July until December, 1916. The Germans lost half a million men, but they did not pass. Before many months every vantage point which the Germans had won was back in French hands.
In 1917, the French pushed the Germans back between Rheims and Soissons to the Ailette River, where they remained until the Second Battle of the Marne, July, 1918.
Little of importance happened during the winter of 1917 and 1918, and Germany, with Russia out of the way, prepared to deliver a final blow and win the war, before American troops should arrive in force. The Germans, with large numbers of troops from the eastern front, were so confident, that great fear was felt among the Allies that America would be too late.
The German plan as it unfolded itself was to attack, wave after wave, with tremendous numbers of men; to use great quantities of a new and more terrible gas; to pay no attention to losses, but to break through where the French and English lines joined; then to push the French south towards Paris and the English north towards the sea. They expected to take Amiens, forty miles from the mouth of the Somme, and to push down the river to the sea. With the broad river between them and the French, a small force could keep the French from crossing, while the great German army captured or destroyed the British, who would be hemmed in by the sea.
The attack was launched on March 21 over a front of fifty miles and it nearly succeeded. It brought the Germans to within six miles of Amiens, which would have been captured if the English on Vimy Ridge had not prevented them by holding the German line from advancing. The Germans waited a month, planning an attack which should capture Vimy Ridge and prepare the way for the capture of Amiens. In this they were unsuccessful.
Not being able to divide the armies of the French and English or to take the Channel ports, they turned in May toward Paris. They attacked in tremendous force between Rheims and Soissons and pushed forward thirty-two miles to the Marne. On July 15 they launched another great offensive over a front of fifty miles from east of Rheims to west of Château-Thierry. They crossed the Marne and were making some progress when, on July 18, the French and Americans struck them on the flank between Soissons and Château-Thierry. The Germans were forced to retreat, having lost 220,000 men, hundreds of guns, and vast stores.
At this time over 1,000,000 American soldiers were in France. They arrived in time and showed themselves "the bravest of the brave." One of the American units was granted, for its bravery in the Second Battle of the Marne, the only regimental decoration ever awarded by France to a foreign regiment; and the French commander bestowed upon one division the most thrilling praise. "They showed," he said, "discipline that filled the Germans with surprise. They marched with officers at the sides and with closed ranks exactly like veteran French troops."
Italy began operations against Austria in May, 1915. For more than two years, she advanced over almost impassable mountain ranges to the reconquest of the territory Austria had stolen from her. Then, in October, 1917, Italy met with a terrible disaster; she lost 180,000 men and was driven back to the river Piave and to within fifteen miles of Venice. This costly defeat was due partly to lack of supplies which her allies should have furnished her; partly to printed lies dropped from Austrian airplanes among the Italian soldiers telling of the wonderful peace and liberty that had come to Russia, where Germans and Russians were like brothers; and partly to the mistake of Italy and her commanders. It resulted in making all the Allies realize that they could not succeed separately but must work together as one, if they were going to win; and in the appointment of General Ferdinand Foch as commander in chief of all the allied forces in the West, including European Russia.
In the spring of 1918, the Austrians, at Germany's command, renewed their attack and succeeded in crossing the Piave, which in its upper reaches towards the mountains was almost a dry river bed. They waited until, as they supposed, the mountain snows had melted. After many of them were across and after they had been checked on the western bank by the Italians, they attempted to recross the river. In the meantime floods had poured down from the mountains changing the dry bed into a rushing river, deep and broad, in which thousands of the Austrians were lost. Austria was able to make no further effort.
Russia was the first of the Great Powers among the Allies to enter the war, but Germany did not count upon her remaining in it long. German influence, especially that of the German Socialists with the uneducated Russians, was so strong that the Kaiser expected a revolution long before it happened. The Russian leaders were self-seeking, and the Tsar and his advisers were lacking in ability and force. The Germans thought Russia would collapse very soon, and thus leave Germany free to turn and conquer France; after which they could settle with England, and then with the United States.
Until the close of 1916, the Russian armies gave the Germans fierce opposition except when, through treachery of the officers of the government, supplies and ammunition were withheld and the soldiers had to fight cannon, machine guns, and rifles with the butts of their muskets. Of course the Russians were driven back, but not until they had come within one hundred and eighty-five miles of Berlin, which was the nearest approach of an enemy army during the first four years of the war.
In the fall of 1914, the Russian armies suffered through treachery a terrible defeat near Tannenberg in the Masurian Lake region of East Prussia, but the great leader of their armies farther south, Grand Duke Nicholas, invaded Austria, capturing stronghold after stronghold until treachery of Russian officials forced him to retreat. The retreat of his armies was conducted in so masterly a manner that it has ranked him as one of the great generals of the World War.
As soon as German money and German lies had undermined the directing forces at the Russian capital, it was an easy matter for German armies to overrun Russian Poland, to capture Warsaw and the great Russian fortresses, and to advance as far north as Riga.
Then in the spring of 1917 came the revolution, when the Duma refused to obey the order of the Tsar. The soldiers sided with the people; the Tsar was thrown into prison, to be shot more than a year later. Germany made a "peace drive," and soon had the entire Russian army ready to quit. Leaders in the service of Germany, like Lenine, used dreamers like Trotsky to help on the breaking up of Russia. Kerensky, who had been chosen to lead the government after the first revolution, was deposed and obliged to flee the country as the result of a second revolution by soldiers, sailors, and workmen. Lenine became Prime Minister and Trotsky, Foreign Minister. Then the way was clear for Germany to work her will. Agreeing to all proposals, she led the Bolsheviki, which means "the majority," into such a situation that they were powerless. Then throwing aside all her agreements, she forced them to sign the disgraceful treaty of peace at Brest-Litovsk. It broke up a portion of the old Russia into several nations or independent provinces, which separated the Russia that remained entirely from the rest of Europe. The provinces, Ukraine, Poland, Finland, Esthonia, Livonia, Courland, and Lithuania were really dependencies of Germany. Turkey was also rewarded by receiving a part of Transcaucasia, which Germany later attempted to take from her.
The Germans promised not to use soldiers from the eastern front against Russia's former allies in the West; but this promise was only another "scrap of paper," and she transferred vast numbers to the front in Italy and in France and, by their help, nearly won her great drives of 1918.
When Russia collapsed and made peace with the Central Powers, Roumania, who entered the war on the side of the Allies, August 27, 1916, was left entirely surrounded by enemies and, to save herself from the fate of Belgium and Serbia, was obliged to consent to peace terms offered by Germany. She ceded a large part of her territory south of the Danube to Bulgaria, who had joined the Central Powers "for what she could get out of it," on October 4, 1915. Bulgaria's king is called "The Fox of the Balkans" and looks upon agreements, treaties, and honesty in the German manner. Like the Germans, all his acts show that he believes "might is right" and that any act is justified if necessary to his success.
In the spring of 1915, English and French fleets attempted to force the Dardanelles, but failed. Had the straits been opened and Constantinople taken, Russia would probably have been saved and the war shortened. Many believe now that a mistake was made in not sacrificing the ships necessary to force the straits and to capture Constantinople, but at the time the French and British leaders were unwilling to make the sacrifice. Troops had been landed at Gallipoli to assist the fleets, but they were withdrawn in January, 1916.
England sent an expedition from the Persian Gulf to capture Bagdad in the fall of 1914. It was small in numbers and suffered some reverses, but succeeded in capturing the city on March 11, 1917.
When Turkey entered the war on the side of the Central Powers, the Germans hoped to stir up a religious war, uniting all the Mohammedans in the East under the lead of Turkey, against the Christian nations. All Mohammedans, however, do not recognize the Sultan of Turkey as their leader, and the King of Hedjaz revolted against Turkey in June, 1916. Hedjaz includes all the Arab tribes between the Tigris on the east and Syria on the west. Arabia forms the largest part of the territory of this kingdom.
With the assistance of the King of Hedjaz, the English have been able, by advancing across the Sinai Desert, to capture Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the Holy City of the Christians, has been in Mohammedan hands, except for two short periods, for seven hundred and thirty years. The Crusades were fought to take it from them, and ever since, Christians have mourned that it had to be left in the hands of the Moslems. It probably will never again pass from the control of Christian nations.
Japan entered the war early, August 23, 1914, as an ally of Great Britain and, on November 7, had taken the only German colony in China, Tsingtau. Germany had forced this from China, as punishment for the murder of two German missionaries. Japan and Australia soon captured all the German possessions in the Pacific, and Great Britain all the German colonies in Africa, leaving Germany without a single colonial possession.
The Kaiser is reported to have said, "Germany's future lies on the sea"; and it seems as if the control of the sea by the Allies has really determined her future, for had the Central Powers controlled the sea, they would have won the war.
By the wise foresight of those directing the movements of the British navy, the Grand Fleet, numbering about four hundred vessels, had been assembled for inspection just before the war broke out, and they were ready, when England entered the war, to move to ports from which they could attack the Germans, if the latter should decide to send out their fleet. The Grand Fleet has all through the war remained hidden, and, like some invisible power, is protecting the freedom of the world. Hundreds of swift scout ships keep watch ready to report every move of the enemy. Only once has Germany come out in force, to be driven back to shelter, defeated, in the Battle of Jutland, May 31, and June 1, 1916.
Germany placed her hopes in the submarine, but she has had little chance to use it against English war vessels. She also scattered mines upon the high seas in violation of the laws of war and of nations. One of these mines on June 5, 1916, sank the British cruiser Hampshire, which was carrying Lord Kitchener to Russia. Lord Kitchener and his staff were lost.
Germany used every power in her hands to win, never hesitating to set aside the laws of nations or the opinions of civilized men. So she turned her submarines against merchant ships in violation of international law. The sinking of the Lusitania was the first great shock to the United States. President Wilson protested on behalf of the American people, and after other merchant vessels had been sunk and more American lives lost, Germany was given her choice of a break with America or of promising that she would give up her submarine attacks without warning upon merchant ships. Germany promised to do so, but made this promise, as the United States learned later, only to give her time to build enough submarines to starve out England in a year or less by using them against merchant ships in violation of her agreement with the United States. It was only another "scrap of paper."
So America entered the war April 6, 1917, and at once the danger from submarines began to grow less, for American destroyers, combined with those of the other Allies, soon were sinking submarines faster than Germany could build them, and American shipyards began to turn out merchant ships in such unheard-of numbers that the sinking of a few ships each month became a minor matter. At the close of the fourth year of the war, an English writer said of what America had done in one year:
It would be idle to recount here what America has done. But for what she has done the heart of every Briton beats with gratitude. There is physical evidence of it over here. American soldiers throng the streets. American sailors gather in our ports. American naval vessels are scouring our home waters in fullest coöperation with the British and French and have reduced the destruction by submarine pirates by more than half what it was one year ago. On land they are fighting with the Allies the battles of civilization and dying for its ideals, and the fondest wish of every patriot both here and in France is that the community of feeling thus cemented in blood will never pass away.
In October, 1918, there were about two million American soldiers in France. They had made possible the great victories, beginning with the Second Battle of the Marne, by which all the German gains of 1918 were wiped out and the St. Mihiel salient recovered. The Huns had held this salient since 1914. Its capture was a brilliant victory for the American army under General Pershing. It was accomplished in twenty-seven hours.
King George of England wired President Wilson as follows:
London, Sept. 14, 1918.
On behalf of the British Empire, I heartily congratulate you on the brilliant achievement of the American and Allied troops under the leadership of General Pershing in the St. Mihiel salient.
The far-reaching results secured by these successful operations, which have marked the active intervention of the American army on a great scale under its own administration, are the happiest augury for the complete, and, I hope, not far-distant triumph of the Allied cause.
President Wilson cabled to General Pershing:
Please accept my warmest congratulations on the brilliant achievements of the army under your command. The boys have done what we expected of them and done it in the way we most admire.
We are deeply proud of them and of their chief. Please convey to all concerned my grateful and affectionate thanks.
Frank H. Simonds, the famous military critic, says:
In our own national history, therefore, as in world history, the Battle of St. Mihiel will have an enduring place. To the world it announced the arrival of America in her appointed place in the battle line of civilization.... The road from Concord Bridge to the heights above the Meuse is long, but it runs straight, and along it men are still led by the same love of liberty and service of democracy which was revealed in our first battle morning nearly a century and a half ago.
At the beginning of October, 1918, the Allies were everywhere successful, in Palestine, in the Balkans, in northern Russia, in Siberia, and on the western front. The world was proving again that deceit and violence always lose in the long run.
In July, 1918, the western battle line, running from the North Sea to Switzerland, was, in general, a huge curve bending into France. Germany had been working on interior lines on this western front—that is, as her forces were needed to defend or to attack, she moved them from place to place on the inside of the circle. The Allies were obliged to work on the outside of the circle and were therefore at a considerable disadvantage.
Then, too, the Germans had the initiative, that is, they could determine when and where to attack, while the Allies in 1918, up to July 18, were having all they could attend to in defending themselves and preventing a serious break in their lines.
With July 18, 1918, all this was changed. The Allied forces were now under the direction of a single commander, Marshal Foch, one of the great military geniuses of all time. His plan was to strike at a weakened point; then, when the Germans had rushed reinforcements to ward off the danger, to strike at some other point in the line and thus use up the German reserves; and to give the German commanders no time to prepare an offensive on a large scale. The German by nature seems to think that size determines victory. The big things seem to him the things that are effective and that win. So his offensives were planned on a great scale and required months of preparation; and after one offensive had been stopped, he required more months of comparative rest to plan and prepare another. The French nature is different; it is subtle, deft, and skillful, and by repeated strokes of less force, often accomplishes what the German fails to do with one mighty blow. In riveting the plates on a ship, or in joining the framework of a steel skyscraper, a riveting machine is used which, by very rapidly repeated blows, does the work quickly and well. Somewhat in this way did Marshal Foch strike the German line, now in this spot, now in that, capturing or putting out of action large numbers of German troops, outflanking first one strategic point and then another. As a consequence, the German line was obliged to draw back and back to prevent the Allies from breaking through and attacking the German supply trains coming up in the rear with food and munitions.
West of Verdun the Germans had come into Belgium and France along the line of the Meuse through Liége and Namur, and across Luxemburg by the main railway through Sedan. Could either of these great lines of communication be captured, the Germans would be unable to withdraw to their own territory without terrible losses, if at all; for between their armies and Germany lay the great forest region of Ardennes with but few roads. Two millions of men could not retreat through this region without leaving guns and munitions behind and their retreat becoming a rout.
From Verdun the Meuse River runs north and west to Sedan and to the railroad which extended from the German lines through Luxemburg to Germany. Marshal Foch honored General Pershing and the American troops by assigning to them the difficult task of advancing from Verdun through the valley of the Meuse to Sedan. The story of the fighting of the Americans in this advance is a story glowing with deeds of heroism and of reckless daring, a story of the overcoming of almost impossible difficulties and of final victory. At Sedan in 1870, the Germans humbled the French and decided the Franco-Prussian War. It is a strange turn of history that, with the capture of Sedan from the Germans in 1918, the World War was practically decided and ended.
The Allied army from Salonica, with the help of the Serbians, had conquered Bulgaria late in September, and she had surrendered unconditionally, thus cutting off Germany and Austria from communication with their ally, Turkey. General Allenby's conquest of Palestine and occupation of Aleppo brought Turkey to realize that she was helpless. She surrendered the last of October. Then the strengthened and refreshed Italian army attacked the Austrians on the Piave in Italy and won perhaps the most complete victory of the war on the western front, capturing over five hundred thousand prisoners and completely breaking Austria's power for further resistance. Austria surrendered on November 4.
Thus Germany was left alone, open to attack on her southern and eastern fronts, while being hopelessly beaten in the west. She asked President Wilson to secure an armistice from the Allied nations. The President had declared earlier in the war that we would never deal with the Kaiser and the autocratic rulers of Germany who had repeatedly broken their word to us and to other nations. The German people, aware of this fact, were taking things into their own hands, and the German Revolution had really begun.
The German Chancellor informed President Wilson that Germany had changed its form of government and was now being ruled by those responsible to the German people, and that the German government was willing to make peace on the basis of President Wilson's Fourteen Points, as stated on January 8, 1918, and of his later declarations, particularly that of September 27, 1918.
After some correspondence, the President referred the German government to Marshal Foch. Envoys were sent from Spa, the German headquarters, under flag of truce to the headquarters of Marshal Foch in a railroad car near Senlis. The terms of the armistice made it absolutely impossible for Germany to renew the war after the cessation of hostilities, for she was obliged to evacuate all invaded territory, to remove all her troops twenty miles back from the Rhine, and to give the control of the river and its crossings to the Allies. She was also forced to surrender vast quantities of large and small guns, two thousand air-planes, all her submarines, and the greater part of her navy. She was practically to give over the control of her railways and shipping to the Allies and to renounce the unfair treaties with Russia and Roumania. Alsace-Lorraine was to be returned to France, and Belgium and northern France restored. The armistice was signed by the Germans on November 11, 1918. It has been called the most complete surrender ever known, but Germany had no choice, for her armies were defeated and her navy had no hope in a battle against the overwhelming odds of the Allies.
Der Tag or "The Day" for which haughty Germans had hoped, had come, but how different from the day they had imagined! When the white flag of truce was raised on the German battle line, the red flag of revolution was unfurled in Berlin and other German cities. The Kaiser had abdicated, the Crown Prince had renounced his right to the throne, and both had taken refuge in Holland. Other German kings were abdicating and royal princes were fleeing for safety.
Great celebrations were held in the Allied countries. It seemed as if the people in the great cities of America had gone wild with joy. President Wilson appeared in the hall of the national House of Representatives at one o'clock on the afternoon of Monday, November 11, and announced the signing of the armistice and its terms and the conclusion of the war. He asked America to show a spirit of helpfulness rather than one of revenge toward the conquered Germans, concluding his message as follows:
The present and all that it holds belongs to the nations and the peoples who preserve their self-control and the orderly processes of their governments; the future to those who prove themselves the true friends of mankind. To conquer with arms is to make only a temporary conquest. I am confident that the nations that have learned the discipline of freedom and that have settled with self-possession to its ordered practice are now about to make conquest of the world by the sheer power of example and of friendly helpfulness.
The peoples who have but just come out from under the yoke of arbitrary government and who are now coming at last into their freedom, will never find the treasures of liberty they are in search of if they look for them by the light of the torch. They will find that every pathway that is stained with blood of their own brothers leads to the wilderness, not to the seat of their hope. They are now face to face with their initial test. We must hold the light steady until they find themselves. And in the meantime, if it be possible, we must establish a peace that will justly define their place among the nations, remove all fear of their neighbors and of their former masters, and enable them to live in security and contentment when they have set their own affairs in order. I, for one, do not doubt their purpose or their capacity. There are some happy signs that they know and will choose the way of self-control and peaceful accommodation. If they do, we shall put our aid at their disposal in every way that we can. If they do not, we must await with patience and sympathy the awakening and recovery that will assuredly come at last.
To the people of the United States he sent the following message:
My Fellow Countrymen: The armistice was signed this morning. Everything for which America fought has been accomplished. It will now be our fortunate duty to assist, by example, by sober, friendly council, and by material aid, in the establishment of just democracy throughout the world.
No one can foretell all that this victory, won through the most terrible suffering and sacrifice the world has ever been called upon to bear, means to mankind; but we know it means a new day and a new opportunity for millions of down-trodden men and women in all parts of the world. It means giving a new world of democracy and equality of opportunity to those who never dreamed this possible, except by leaving their native lands and coming to America. It means bringing all that America means to us to races that for centuries have lived without hope. It means the downfall and the punishment of those who would selfishly rise by the persecution and suffering of others. It means that in the end right must always conquer might.
I believe there is no permanent greatness to a nation except it be based upon morality. I do not care for military greatness or military renown. I care for the condition of the people among whom I live. Crowns, coronets, mitres, military display, the pomp of war, wide colonies, and a huge empire are in my view all trifles, light as air and not worth considering, unless with them you can have a fair share of comfort, contentment, and happiness among the great body of the people. Palaces, baronial castles, great halls, stately mansions, do not make a nation. The nation in every country dwells in the cottage.
I ask you then to believe, as I do most devoutly believe, that the moral law was not written for men alone in their individual character, but that it was written as well for nations.
If nations reject and deride that moral law, there is a penalty which will inevitably follow. It may not come at once, it may not come in our life-time; but rely upon it, the great Italian is not a poet only, but a prophet, when he says:
Foreign sounds which cannot be exactly reproduced in English are represented by their nearest English equivalents.
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